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Bioethics researchers support use of cognitive enhancers

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 15 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1743
  1. Krishna Chinthapalli
  1. 1BMJ

Leading bioethics researchers at a discussion forum have voiced their support for society to accept the use of drugs that enhance cognition.

Bennett Foddy, deputy director of the Institute for Science and Ethics at the University of Oxford, said, “There are stories throughout the last century where there has been a huge impact on human flourishing and wellbeing that has come about as a result of mass adoption of certain kinds of pills. I don’t think it’s crazy to think about these drugs as being a cheap option to get a positive effect. It’s hard for me to see what the objection is as long as it’s not, for example, replacing education.”

Cognition enhancing drugs include modafinil, methylphenidate, and some anticholinesterases. They are currently licensed only for the …

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