Healthy adults should be able to take brain-boosting drugs for a competitive advantage at work or on an exam, researchers say in a provocative paper. Seven authors say ethical questions about cognitive-enhancement pills are both warranted and imminent, and that such medicinal aid is no less moral than caffeine consumption, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Mass availability of such drugs raises thorny questions: Could employers force workers to take them? Would students who can afford to medicate have an unfair leg up? Proponents say the moral quandaries don’t warrant an outright ban on the drugs. Critics counter that they are fueling “prescribing pressure,” and that side effects—medicinal and cultural—should be weighed first.