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Saturday, June 7, 2014

The ethics of personal enhancement, from beta blockers to ADHD drugs

By Joe Gelonesi
The Philosopher's Zone
Originally posted May 16, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

It’s a question for the times, as the cognitive enhancement revolution rolls on. The use of substances to help with performance—from sitting exams to playing recitals—has well and truly gone beyond novelty status.

Drugs previously reserved for ADHD are now being imbibed by students to sharpen performance. There is no shortage of first-person testimony mixed with consumer advice on YouTube. Vincent cites studies in Australia which suggest that our appetite for such drugs is greater than in the USA. She also uses the example of Simon Tedeschi, who in January published an article about his extensive use of beta blockers to subdue stage fright. Tedeschi, an esteemed local musician, has no qualms about coming out over his use of what is primarily intended as blood pressure medication. He’s not alone in the performing arts community.

The entire story is here.