Scientific, Ethical, and Social Issues in Mood Enhancement

In Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Meulen & Guy Kahane (eds.), Enhancing Human Capacities. Blackwell. pp. 151–165 (2011)
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Abstract

Since the introduction of Prozac (fluoxetine), a number of so‐called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been developed and introduced. These mood enhancers are being presently prescribed for people whose problems are not recognized mental illnesses. It is probable that in the near future the combination of data from advanced biochips and brain imaging will accelerate the development of neurotechnology. So‐called neuroceuticals, used for therapy and enhancement, and to improve different aspects of mental health, will be efficient neuromodulators. The scientific, ethical, and social issues raised by mood enhancement and alteration of personal resilience require further exploration. The chapter talks about the notion of personal autonomy, cosmetic psychopharmacology, power for autonomous, and moral accountability in this context. It suggests that empirical research should also cover psychological and sociological research into perceptions and experiences of individuals who have used these drugs.

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