Ethicists: Access Needed After Brain Implant Clinical Trials

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In a new study, Baylor College of Medicine researchers have raised ethical questions about clinical trials of deep brain stimulation (DBS) and other brain implants.

“‘Generally, there are no funds to let the participants access the intervention after the trial is over,’ said Dr. Gabriel Lazaro-Munoz, assistant professor in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor. ‘Deep brain stimulation and other brain implants could help manage serious conditions, such as depression. However, after the trial, most participants cannot afford to keep the device functioning and therefore no longer experience the benefits.’

The research team wanted to provide an ethical justification for why participants who benefit from these trials should have some assistance to keep their brain implant functioning after the trial is over.”

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