A Duty to Remember, a Right to Forget? Memory Manipulations and the Law

  • Christoph Bublitz
  • Martin Dresler
Reference work entry


Neuroscience might develop interventions that afford editing or erasing memories, changing their content or attenuating accompanying emotions. This section provides an introduction to the intriguing ethical and legal questions raised by such alterations, with a special focus on the report of the President’s Council “Beyond Therapy” and the proposal of a right to freedom of memory advanced by Adam Kolber.


Memory Trace False Memory Autobiographical Memory Collective Memory Traumatic Memory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This chapter is dedicated to the memory of the first author’s grandmother, Margarethe Bublitz, who passed away during its writing. The work was funded by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation, Germany.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute of PsychiatryMunichGermany
  3. 3.Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and BehaviourRadboud University Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands

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