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Neuroenhancers, addiction and research ethics
  1. David Martin Shaw
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Martin Shaw, Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel, Missionsstrasse 24, CH-4055 Basel, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland; davidmartinshaw{at}


In their recent paper in this journal, Heinz and colleagues accuse proponents of cognitive enhancement of making two unjustified assumptions. The first of these is the assumption that neuroenhancing drugs will be safe; the second is that research into cognitive enhancement does not pose particular ethical problems. Heinz and colleagues argue that both these assumptions are false. Here, I argue that these assumptions are in fact correct, and that Heinz and colleagues themselves make several assumptions that undermine their argument. Neuroenhancement does raise several ethical concerns, but safety and research in this area pose no unique difficulties.

  • Neuroethics
  • Research Ethics
  • Psychopharmacology

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