Should Students be encouraged to take brainpower boosting drugs?

I have a lot of pieces on this issue here. It seems to me like a simple cost benefit analysis. There is no more a moral question than whether people should drink coffee to wake up or have surgery to repair joints. This article below is from the Times of London:

Students should be allowed to take “smart drugs”, such as Ritalin, to help boost their academic performance, a leading academic has suggested.

John Harris, professor of bioethics and director of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester, said the government and medical profession should “seriously consider” making cognition-enhancing drugs available to students without prescription, or allowing them to be prescribed for non-therapeutic purposes, such as studying.

Students have long used drugs to boost their study performance. Caffeine and ginseng are traditional favourites. But recently the use of more powerful, restricted drugs, particularly the anti-hyperactivity medicine Ritalin, has spread from campuses in the US.

Currently such drugs are available only on prescription. Although many students buy them on the internet, their use without a prescription is a criminal offence.

But Professor Harris, joint Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Medical Ethics, said that serious consideration should now be given to making some of them available on prescription for non-medical reasons, specifically for the purpose of enhancing cognitive performance.

There was now a sizeable body of evidence to show that stimulants such as Ritalin, Provigil and Adderall significantly improve concentration and performance and their side effects were proportional to their benefits, he said. . . . .

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Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Governments fear intelligence, knowledge, and the truth. For it is that the aforementioned has always been the downfall of those whom wish to control the masses.

To enhance the ability of the people to recognize their place within society, is dangerous to those whom are elected.

Phineas T. Barnum understood the equation, as do politicians. Ergo knowledge must be controlled.

At least P.T Barnum was honest about his ambitions. Unlike those who merely wish to have the 'Greatest Show on Earth'.

1/02/2009 1:41 AM  

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