Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D., is the principle investigator of the Scattergood program for the applied ethics of behavioral health, and chair of the department of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. His most recent book is Smart Mice, Not-So-Smart People.
For too long, mental health has been a policy and ethical backwater. While mountains of articles have been written on the ethics of cloning human beings (hugely unlikely to happen anytime soon), the morality of using genetically engineered animals as sources of organs for transplants (ditto), and the moral defensibility of using treatments derived from embryonic stem-cell research to cure horrific diseases (a very long shot), hardly any literature exists on the ethics of current practices and policies in mental health.
All that is about to change. A technological revolution imminent in mental health will soon revolutionize how mental illness is widely perceived and elevate it to the forefront of health policy.