Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Group 1: What we discussed
We talked mostly about the ethics of prescribing people drugs for memory/cognition enhancement and memory suppression. The memory enhancement argument was relatively unidirectional in that we decided the case was similar to the use of steroids in athletics. Until we better understand the possible negative side effects associated with using such a drug, we cannot determine whether or not it would be fair to use such an enhancement. Say two students are competing for a job by taking an exam, one student uses enhancements and another chooses not to due to the uncertainty pertaining to the side effects. The enhanced student is at an unfair advantage, having not necessarily worked harder, but still was able to acquire and retain more knowledge in the same time the unenhanced student prepared, and as a result of this advantage, received a superior score and got the job. We also discussed memory suppressants for those subject to traumatic experiences that may make normal life difficult to continue. We felt that again, not knowing the side effects of the drug, it was difficult to make a definitive arguement for or against ethical use of the drug. A point was raised that some people may prefer to hold and may "benefit" in the long term from such memories.