Some ethical considerations about the use of biomarkers for the classification of adult antisocial individuals
SourceInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 18, 3, (2019), pp. 228-242
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
SubjectNeuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
It has been argued that a biomarker-informed classification system for antisocial individuals has the potential to overcome many obstacles in current conceptualizations of forensic and psychiatric constructs and promises better targeted treatments. However, some have expressed ethical worries about the social impact of the use of biological information for classification. Many have discussed the ethical and legal issues related to possibilities of using biomarkers for predicting antisocial behaviour. We argue that prediction should not raise the most pressing ethical worries. Instead, issues connected with 'biologisation', such as stigmatization and negative effects on self-image, need more consideration. However, we conclude that also in this respect there are no principled ethical objections against the use of biomarkers to guide classification and treatment of adult antisocial individuals.
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