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True and false concerns about neuroenhancement: a response to ‘Neuroenhancers, addiction and research ethics’, by D M Shaw
  1. Andreas Heinz1,
  2. Roland Kipke2,
  3. Sabine Müller1,
  4. Urban Wiesing3
  1. 1Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, CCM, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin Germany
  2. 2International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities, Tübingen University, Tübingen, Germany
  3. 3Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine, Tübingen University, Tübingen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roland Kipke, International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities, Tübingen University, Wilhelmstrasse 19, 72074 Tübingen, Germany;kipke{at}


In his critical comment on our paper in this journal, Shaw argues that ‘false assumptions’ which we have criticised are in fact correct (‘Neuroenhancers, addiction and research ethics’). He suggests that the risk of addiction to neuroenhancers may not be relevant, and that safety and research in regard to neuroenhancement do not pose unique ethical problems. Here, we demonstrate that Shaw ignores key empirical research results, trivialises addiction, commits logical errors, confuses addictions and passions, argues on a speculative basis, and fails to distinguish the specific ethical conditions of clinical research from those relevant for research in healthy volunteers. Therefore, Shaw's criticism cannot convince.

  • Enhancement
  • Neuroethics
  • Research Ethics

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