Ethical, legal and social approach, concerning BCI applied to LIS patients

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    Current interviews with people with locked in syndrome (LIS) show that almost all of them rate their quality of life as good or even very good. They are happy with their “classic” communication aids and the services around them (advice, delivery, reimbursement). People with LIS prefer non-technological alphabet system for daily interactions, because face-to-face is more personal and emotional. However, technological communication aids are of utmost importance for privacy and the feeling of independency. Ethical, legal and societal issues need to be considered when designing new assistive technologies such as brain-computer interfaces. For example, interviews suggest that that having high tech is not a guarantee for inclusion of people with LIS in society. People in society are often afraid of people with LIS and the equipment that surrounds them. Thus, BCI sensors should be as invisible as possible or aesthetically pleasing and culturally accepted. The inclusion of people with disabilities will not only require the development of high tech, but - above all - a change in society's attitude towards disability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e244
    JournalAnnals of physical and rehabilitation medicine
    Issue numberSuppl. 1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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