Academic Ethical Dilemma: Learning Enhancement Through Chemistry

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Academic Ethical Dilemma: Learning Enhancement Through Chemistry

There is a trend occurring in the academic world that is gaining in popularity and has many in the academic world worried. This trend is the increase use of drugs to enhance the brain's ability to not only work harder, longer and faster but also to retain that knowledge. "Doping" is no longer the exclusive realm of sports professionals" (Block,2003). Not only does this create opportunities for today's students to excel but it also creates some major ethical issues to be addressed.

There are two popular drugs that are reported to be at the forefront of this trend: Ritalin, which is used to control hyperactivity in children and Modafinil, which is used to treat
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There are also the side effects that drugs can produce, such as: insomnia, loss of appetite, dizziness and depression and in some cases addiction (Laurance, 2003), even when taking them for the prescribe disease. It is because of this potential for addiction, and the growing demand for Ritalin, that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has classified it as a "drug of concern" (Healy, 2004). It is also of a concern that although these drugs do enhance the brains capabilities that they might also overload the mind with things that we normally weed out once the need for the information is gone. There is also worry that although there are advantages to using these drugs now, there is a concern that if used for the long term that these drugs may hasten the brains aging process (Lamb 2004).

The impact and implications for the medical, ethical, psychological and legal standpoints are significant. As with any parent we all want the best for our children. Does this include running out to the doctors to get our child drugs to ensure academic success? In turn to please the parent does the doctor write a prescription that is not to treat a disease? As there have been articles written where medical students themselves have used these drugs for the very same effect, it is likely that some medical providers would be inclined to accommodate the

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