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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 63 (2021) 10, 741 - 744

Essay

Ethical issues for the further development of psychiatric deep brain stimulation

A.F.G. Leentjens, K. Schruers, P.C.M. Ackermans, D. Horstkötter

Background Except in the case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, deep brain stimulation (DBS) for psychiatric indications is an experimental treatment, reserved for the most severe and treatment resistant cases.
Aim To discuss ethical aspects for the further development of DBS in psychiatry.
Method Ethical reflection.
Results The low number of patients and the experimental character of the treatment hamper the collection of scientific evidence and the safeguarding of patients being indicated for DBS. Apart from that, special care should be taken in assessing competency and the ability to provide informed consent.
Conclusion Interest in the subjective experiences of patients being treated with DBS, proactive ethical reflection and an increase in the scale of research efforts are essential for the acceptance and further development of DBS for psychiatric indications.