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Enhancement pharmaceuticals

On the near horizon are a slew of new pharmaceuticals that we call memory management drugs. Some of these aim to improve memory safely. Other drugs are designed to help people dim or to erase the sort of memories that haunt those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the next five to ten years, these memory-enhancing and memory-diminishing drugs are bound to raise important freedom of thought issues. The CCLE sees a great deal of potential in these pharmaceuticals, while at the same time we seek to identify future legal complications and threats to cognitive liberty, which may arise if used coercively.

For instance, what if emergency room personnel automatically begin giving memory-diminishing drugs to trauma victims? What if you are the victim of a violent crime and want to forget what happened to you, but need those memories in order to testify or identify the perpetrator? What if you are the only eye-witness to a crime, could the government compel you to take a memory-boosting drug at least until you testify in court?

As always, we support an individual's choice to take, or to refuse, memory management drugs. The CCLE seeks to ensure that future policies regarding these drugs help to expand rather than contract freedom of thought.



Can popping pills make your life better?
Claire Sawers, The Scotsman, July 21, 2004
"Pharmaceutical analysts estimate the worldwide market in lifestyle drugs is worth around £11 billion a year, with the potential for huge growth. The irony is that the vast majority of this pill-popping is not based on clinical need."

Smart Pill, anyone?
By Henry I. Miller/David Longtin, Washington Times, July 21, 2004
"This field of "psychopharmacological enhancement" is growing in intensity and sophistication."

'Smart pills' make headway
Rita Rubin, USA Today, July 7, 2004
"Thanks to recent strides in understanding how the brain works, it's only a matter of time before medications specifically designed to improve mental ability or cognition, hit the market. ...Companies with such evocative names as Sention and Memory Pharmaceuticals are focusing on medications to treat patients whose brains are impaired by disease or injury. But the real market for such drugs might be healthy people who would simply like to be a little quicker on the uptake."

Memory Enhancers
Brain Briefings, June 2004. Society for Neuroscience

We hold these freedoms to be self-evident...
An interview with Richard Glen Boire of the CCLE
By Liz Else,  New Scientist, Apr. 2004

Wrye Sententia's Letter to the Editor RE: The Quest to Forget
By Robin Marantz Henig, New York Times Magazine, Apr. 4, 2004

Manipulating your mind
What will science discover about our brains,& how are we going to deal with it? By Holger Breithaupt & Katrin Weigmann, EMBO reports VOL 5 | NO 3 | ©2004

Blanks for the memories: Someday you may be able to take a pill to forget painful recollections
By Scott LaFee, (c) San Diego Union Tribune, Feb. 11, 2004

Cognitive Liberty in the Age of Memory-management Drugs
By Richard Glen Boire, Special to BetterHumans, Jan. 15, 2004

'We can implant entirely false memories'
By Laura Spinney, The Guardian (UK), Dec. 3, 2003

Cognitive Liberty and the 'Right to Erase Memories' Explained
By Richard Glen Boire, Brainwaves, Sep. 5, 2003

Forget About It?
By Richard Glen Boire, Brainwaves, Aug. 27, 2003

Memory Erasing, Coming Soon Says Cognitive Liberty Group:
Paycheck Movie Raises Important Mental Rights Concerns, Experts Say
CCLE Press Release

Insufficient Memory: Can a pill boost your brain’s ability to hold information?
By Jamie Talan, (c), Nov. 18, 2003

“Better” Memories? The Promise and Perils of Pharmacological Interventions
Staff Working Paper of the Presidents Council on Bioethics, Spring 2003

The Battle For Your Brain:
Science Is Developing Ways To Boost Intelligence, Expand Memory, And More. But Will You Be Allowed To Change Your Own Mind?
By Ronald Bailey, Reason Magazine, 2003

The Guilt-Free Soldier
Erik Baard, The Village Voice, Jan. 28, 2003

Matter Over Mind?
By Ellen Goodman, Washington Post, Nov. 16, 2002

Memory enhancement: the search for mechanism-based drugs
By Gary Lynch, Nature Neuroscience, November 2002 Volume 5 Supplement pp 1035 - 1038

This page was last edited: 01/21/2005