Monday, December 22, 2008

In Defense of Smart Drugs

Charles Huckabee describes the controversy over a recent article suggesting that smart drugs were an ethical goal for science.

A year after a commentary in the journal Nature ignited a debate about the use among academics of drugs to enhance their mental energy and ability to work long hours, a group of scientists and ethicists write in the same journal that they believe, in theory, that healthy people should have the right to use “smart” pills...

[T]he authors assert that “we should welcome new methods of improving our brain function,” and that doing it with pills is no more morally objectionable than eating right or getting a good night’s sleep...

While some health experts agreed that the issue deserves attention, Leigh Turner, associate director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota, took issue with the essay: “It’s a nice puff piece for selling medications for people who don’t have an illness of any kind,” he told the Associated Press.

The essay, “Towards Responsible Use of Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs by the Healthy,” is available online... |PDF| |Healthy Adults Should Have Right to Take 'Smart' Pills, Scientists Contend - The Chronicle of Higher Education (sub'n req'd)|
The article does call for increased regulation of smart drugs, so I'm not sure what substantive objections are being made, but I am totally in favor of the development of smart drugs. This is one aspect where we can quickly and easily take evolution into our own hands.

The Six Million Dollar Man was better, stronger, faster.

Smarter, faster, and better is my goal.

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