This was actually adressed on Boston Legal last week. I love that
show, and will miss it after it's gone.
On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 8:30 AM, Meir Weiss <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Scientists back brain drugs for healthy people
> Last Updated: Monday, December 8, 2008 | 9:19 AM ET Comments10Recommend3The
> Associated Press
> Several scientists say healthy people should have the right to boost their
> brains with pills, like those prescribed for hyperactive kids or
> memory-impaired older folks.
> They say college students are already illegally taking prescription
> stimulants like Ritalin to help them study, and demand for such drugs is
> likely to grow elsewhere.
> Writing in the journal Nature, the scientists say that society should
> welcome new methods of improving brain function.
> They say accomplishing it with pills is no more morally objectionable than
> eating right or getting a good night's sleep.
> The commentary calls for more research and a variety of steps for managing
> the risks.
> Commentary author Martha Farah from the University of Pennsylvania says as
> more effective brain-boosting pills are developed, demand for them is likely
> to grow among middle-aged people who want youthful memory powers.
> She suggests they will also become popular among multi-tasking workers who
> need to keep track of multiple demands.
> "Almost everybody is going to want to use it," Farah said. "I would be the
> first in line if safe and effective drugs were developed that trumped
> caffeine," another author, Michael Gazzaniga of the University of
> California, Santa Barbara, declared in an e-mail.
> The seven authors, from the United States and Britain, include ethics
> experts and the editor-in-chief of Nature as well as scientists.
> They developed their case at a seminar funded by Nature and Rockefeller
> University in New York. Two authors said they consult for pharmaceutical
> companies; Farah said she had no such financial ties.
> Some health experts agreed that the issue deserves attention.
> However, the commentary didn't impress Leigh Turner of the University of
> Minnesota Center for Bioethics.
> "It's a nice puff piece for selling medications for people who don't have an
> illness of any kind," Turner said.
> The commentary cites a 2001 survey of about 11,000 American college students
> that found four per cent had used prescription stimulants illegally in the
> prior year.
> At some colleges, the figure was as high as 25 per cent.
> "It's a felony, but it's being done," Farah said.
> The stimulants Adderall and Ritalin are prescribed mainly for people with
> attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but they can help other people
> focus their attention and handle information in their heads, the commentary
> C The Canadian Press, 2008
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An unreasonable man (but my wife says that's redundant!)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.
-George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950
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