Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Self-Enhancement Unethical?

Safety concerns over people taking drugs to improve themselves is fine, but this article seems to go beyond the issue of safely. It seems to imply that well people should not be trying to enhance themselves.
The ability of prescription drugs and medical procedures to improve intellectual performance is likely to increase significantly in the next 20 to 30 years as technology advances.

"We know that there is likely to be a demand by healthy individuals for this treatment," Dr Tony Calland, chairman of the BMA's Medical Ethics Committee said at the launch of a discussion paper on the issue.

"However, given that no drug or invasive medical procedure is risk free, is it ethical to make them available to people who are not ill?"
Why wouldn't it be ethical to make drugs or procedures available to people who are not ill? What is wrong with letting well people make themselves better? Perhaps it's competition they fear. Can't have the average idiots making themselves as smart as the cognoscenti, can we?

I am all for safety, but some folks seem to have a socialist view of medicine and do not want to see a day when people can make themselves more competitive by enhancing their "god-given" abilities. That wouldn't be "fair." But self-enhancing products do not remain out of reach for the average citizen for very long. Technology is always too expensive for most people in its early stages, but eventually everyone can have it. Computers and cell phones are just two examples of this phenomenon. So I say let the rich be the testers. Perfect the stuff with them and then, when all the bugs have been worked out, let me at it.

Brain-boosting drugs spark ethical debate in UK

Singularity & The Price of Rice is updated often; the easiest way to get your regular dose is by subscribing to our news feed. Stay on top of all our updates by subscribing now via RSS or Email.