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Unpublished Paper
The Treatment for Malpractice – Physician, Enhance Thyself: The Impact of Neuroenhancements for Medical Malpractice
ExpressO (2015)
  • Harvey L. Fiser, Millsaps College
Abstract

Coming to a hospital near you, the medically enhanced doctor - a doctor who thinks faster, is better with short and long term memory, is calmer during surgery, can work double shifts with little cognitive fatigue, and one day may have the memories of years of experience without actually having had them. With the expanded use of cognitive enhancing pharmaceuticals such as Adderall, Provigil, and more on the way, we are already seeing changes in education and the corporate world. From reaching a “normal” status for a person with an ADHD diagnosis to creating the “supernormal” employee with cognitive enhancers, neurointerventions are changing the way we work, study and live.

The medical field adds another dimension to the use of cognitive enhancers – medical malpractice comparative standards of care. Similar to students being judged “on the curve,” a doctor’s performance is measured by a comparative standard to those in his industry. When a student without ADHD takes Adderall to stay awake to study longer and harder for the upcoming test, there is a risk of that student “blowing the curve.” Similarly, as more doctors take advantage of the newest cognitive enhancers, there is a risk to the unenhanced doctor of falling behind his peers, perhaps even falling below the medical malpractice standard of care.

This article introduces some of these issues and offers some possible guidelines which may assist in cases of medical malpractice and medical care in the face of neurointerventions. First, the paper will briefly address the standard of care in medical malpractice cases in general. Second, it will discuss some of the existing and potential physical and neurological enhancements available for physicians. And finally, it will explore how these neurointerventions could alter the standards for medical malpractice for both the enhanced doctors and the entire medical profession.

Keywords
  • medical malpractice,
  • neuroenhancements,
  • neurointerventions,
  • neuroscience,
  • cognitive enhancement,
  • standard of care,
  • adderall,
  • provigil
Publication Date
August 14, 2015
Citation Information
Harvey L. Fiser. "The Treatment for Malpractice – Physician, Enhance Thyself: The Impact of Neuroenhancements for Medical Malpractice" ExpressO (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/harvey_fiser/3/