Salud Mental

Chilean neurorights legislation and its relevance for mental health: Criticisms and outlook


Isabel Cornejo-Plaza


Background. Recently, the academic world has established a series of reconfigurations of emerging human rights, in order to safeguard the mental integrity of people exposed to neurotechnologies. The recommendations of different stakeholders and a literature review support regulation of these technologies. There are different proposals for regulation, some in soft law and others in objective law. The type of regulation chosen can have repercussions on clinical practice, research, and public policy. The constitutional enactment of neurorights in Chile has been criticized in the academic fields of neuroethics and law as having potential negative effects on mental health research.

Objective. To analyze in light of the available literature whether the construction of neurorights could create ethical conflicts in the field of mental health, or if it could offer protection against the disruptive use of various neurotechnologies.

Method. This analysis included a narrative review of studies included in the PsycInfo, Springer, JSTOR, Medline, Scopus, PubMed, CINALH, and Web of Science databases, without restrictions on language or year of publication.

Results. The enactment of neurorights as hard law is found not to be detrimental to the field of mental health.

Discussion and conclusion. This article argues that the regulation of neurorights does not threaten the framework of an ecosystem that uses neurotechnologies. On the contrary, such regulation offers protections to people within the complex system of neurotechnologies.
Neurorights, neuroethics, neurotechnologies, regulations, mental health


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