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Bioethics Bowl Team 2019With the introduction of new biotechnologies and therapies, such as deep-brain stimulation, come a host of potential ethical quandaries that could arise for healthcare professionals.

Through the study of ethical and moral issues arising in connection with advances in biology, medicine, and research on the brain, the Department of Philosophy faculty are training students on the ethical dilemmas that could arise over the course of their careers and how to be sensitive to the moral dilemmas their future clients and patients may face in their personal lives.

In the area of neuroethics, a relatively new interdisciplinary field, students explore questions like: Is a psychopath morally responsible if the behavior is the result of brain dysfunction? Is addiction a neurological compulsion? Moral cognition: Which areas of the brain are involved in moral thought and action? Emotional areas? Rational/cognitive areas? Mind reading: Can neuroscientific technologies determine whether someone is lying? Can brain scan results constitute self-incrimination, thus violating the Fifth Amendment? Moral enhancement: Is there something wrong with making oneself a better person via pills or deep-brain stimulation?

Such questions and exercises in critical thinking and reasoning are helping UAB produce well-rounded future lawyers, researchers, business and healthcare professionals.