The Lie of fMRI: An Examination of the Ethics of a Market in Lie Detection Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

White, Amy
September 2010
HEC Forum;Sep2010, Vol. 22 Issue 3, p253
Academic Journal
In this paper, I argue that companies who use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans for lie detection encounter the same basic ethical stumbling blocks as commercial companies that market traditional polygraphs. Markets in traditional voluntary polygraphs are common and fail to elicit much uproar among ethicists. Thus, for consistency, if markets in polygraphs are ethically unproblematic, markets using fMRIs for lie detection are equally as acceptable. Furthermore, while I acknowledge two substantial differences between the ethical concerns involving polygraphs and fMRI lie detection, I argue that these concerns can be overcome and do not lead to the conclusion that markets in fMRI lie detection are ethically dubious. It is my conclusion that voluntary markets in fMRI lie detection can be justified by consumer autonomy and should be allowed to persist.


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