Promoting ethics for human enhancement technologies



Some human enhancement is controversial socially and morally. They promise the advancement of humanity, but also introduce serious risks to health and well-being, freedom, and equality. Human enhancement research and development can be missed in ethical and legislative review. The field is broad, and enhancement potential can be difficult to predict, especially if such potential is not actively sought. In all cases, guidance is needed. The SIENNA project just published a policy brief that aims to addresses the need for policies aimed at ethical guidance for research, development and deployment of human enhancement technologies.

(Image removed) Human enhancement is a modification aimed at improving human performance beyond what is typical or average, brought about by science-based and/or technology-based interventions in or on the human body. Some forms of human enhancement (e.g., cosmetic surgery, doping in sports), have existed for a long time. Recent developments in science promise substantial advancements.

Developments in genomics, pharmaceutics, prosthetics, neurotechnology, biomedical engineering, human-machine interaction, artificial intelligence and nanomedicine have unlimited potential to create future humans with superhuman physical and mental abilities, but some human enhancement is controversial. Research in SIENNA has identified that there is insufficient guidance available for responsible decision-making on these topics, whether in research, development, deployment or use of technologies with enhancement potential.

This brief presents some urgent actions and recommendations for policy makers, including European Union (EU) institutions, particularly the European Commission, European Parliament, European Council, Council of the European Union, European Data Protection Board, Medical Device Coordination Group and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Also for the newly formed European Innovation Agency, the European Health and Digital Executive Agency and any other policy- makers at international, European, or national level working on issues related to human enhancement technologies.

Download SIENNA brief #5

Cite as: Yasemin J. Erden, & Philip Brey. (2021, March 24). Promoting ethics for human enhancement technologies: SIENNA project Policy Brief #5 (Version 1.0). Zenodo.





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