Emerging Technologies in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa and Ethics: Sufferers’ Accounts of Treatment Strategies and Authenticity

Emerging Technologies in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa and Ethics: Sufferers’ Accounts of... New neural models for anorexia nervosa (AN) are emerging as a result of increased research on the neurobiology of AN, and these offer a rationale for the development of new treatment technologies such as neuromodulation. The emergence of such treatment technologies raises new ethical questions; however these have been little discussed for AN. In this article, I take an empirical approach and explore how young women who suffer from AN perceive treatment technologies in light of the concept of authenticity. Interview data showed that participants in this study did not seem to unconditionally adhere to treatment modalities that only imply laborious self-work, such as therapy. The data also showed that they were willing to accept new treatment possibilities such as pharmacological or brain-directed treatment strategies, which they view as having potential instrumental value in coping with certain symptoms of the illness. However, such modalities can pose threats to patients’ authenticity, especially with regard to self-discovery. I argue that, in a context where there is an increased interest in brain-directed treatment strategies for AN, studies should continue to explore the ethical and psychological impact of such treatment technologies on individuals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Care Analysis Springer Journals

Emerging Technologies in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa and Ethics: Sufferers’ Accounts of Treatment Strategies and Authenticity

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Public Health; Philosophy of Medicine; Ethics; Health Informatics
ISSN
1065-3058
eISSN
1573-3394
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10728-014-0286-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

New neural models for anorexia nervosa (AN) are emerging as a result of increased research on the neurobiology of AN, and these offer a rationale for the development of new treatment technologies such as neuromodulation. The emergence of such treatment technologies raises new ethical questions; however these have been little discussed for AN. In this article, I take an empirical approach and explore how young women who suffer from AN perceive treatment technologies in light of the concept of authenticity. Interview data showed that participants in this study did not seem to unconditionally adhere to treatment modalities that only imply laborious self-work, such as therapy. The data also showed that they were willing to accept new treatment possibilities such as pharmacological or brain-directed treatment strategies, which they view as having potential instrumental value in coping with certain symptoms of the illness. However, such modalities can pose threats to patients’ authenticity, especially with regard to self-discovery. I argue that, in a context where there is an increased interest in brain-directed treatment strategies for AN, studies should continue to explore the ethical and psychological impact of such treatment technologies on individuals.

Journal

Health Care AnalysisSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 3, 2014

References

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