- Published: June 5, 2015
Betsy Grey, a Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, recently published and article titled “Neuroscience and Emotional Harm in Tort Law: Rethinking the American Approach to Free-Standing Emotional Distress Claims,” the subject matter of which discusses the American judicial system’s bias of assigning more legal weight towards the more evident “physical” harm as opposed to the equally damaging, but less obvious “emotional” harm. The article also delves into the impact of neuroimaging on the issues faced in producing concrete, “physical” medical information evidential of “emotional” harm.
A prolonged prejudiced picture depicting “emotional” harm as having no physiological basis persists in the American judicial structure, particularly in the field of tort law. Grey enumerates various cases in which neuroimaging results of plaintiffs demonstrate measurably and significantly affected brain patterns after a traumatic incident, denoting the changed psyche of the plaintiff, the “emotional” injury sustained by the plaintiff. In such cases, the role of neuroscience and neuroimaging in the judicial process demonstrates an undeniable relevance as irrefutably concrete evidence which heretofore was unavailable to plaintiffs.
I hold no doubt that the use of neuroimaging tests will become a more prominent trend to concretely evidence “emotional” injury in the…