eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 11
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Legal aspects of conducting and using neurotherapy

Rafał Łukasz Szewczyk
Maciej Łukasz Siedlecki
Marta Agnieszka Ratomska

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2016; 11, 1: 21–27
Online publish date: 2016/06/16
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Noninvasive techniques of neurotherapy (neurofeedback, transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct-current stimulation) are becoming increasingly popular methods supporting the treatment and rehabilitation of cognitive processes, affective disorders and sensory-motor dysfunctions. Despite the noninvasiveness of such methods, patients and novice therapists fear their potential harmful effects. At the same time, Poland lacks legal regulations explicitly stating the range of competences required for providing neurotherapy services. Therefore, an inevitable question arises about the type and the scope of liability facing neurotherapists. This article has two major aims: (1) to present the three most popular methods of neurotherapy including potential risk related to their use; (2) to characterize the legal situation of therapists as well as their patients. This is why at the beginning of this article the basic principles of neurofeedback, transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct-current stimulation will be discussed. Next, based on the legal records, conditions and boundaries of the liability of the therapists (as people providing medical services) will be presented along with the consequences arising from this liability. Differences between tortious and contractual liability as well as between a therapeutic mistake and a diagnostic mistake will be discussed. Both the type and possible forms of the contract between therapist and patient will be specified. The consequences of non-compliance with the obligations resulting from the contract will be indicated. Conditions and possibilities of claiming for disservice or harm compensation will also be identified.

biofeedback, neurofeedback, TMS, tDCS, patient rights

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