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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Then of course we have the legal issues. Many of the drugs are being bought and not prescribed. Selling prescription drugs is a crime and could have some serious ramifications for both the buyer and the seller.

Continued research is needed in the use of these types of drugs in the normal person. It cannot be left up to the pharmaceutical companies to make this decision, as the financial windfall that will occur when these drugs are made available will be considerable. The FDA must step in and help determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks associated with this type of drug intervention for brain boosting/enhancement.
There also needs to continue to be ethical discussions and challenges concerning the right and wrong of the use and/or abuse of this method of achieving academic success. It is suggested that if this trend continues without any decisions on if it is to be allowed, that schools might have to resort to having the students "dope tested" prior to handing in their exam papers to ensure that the results were due to hard work and not drugs (Laurance, 2003). Although there appears to be an increasing trend in the use of drugs for this purpose it also appears that this is becoming so widespread that we are turning a blind-eye to the potential negative implications that might result.

Where or when will this dilemma end? Chances are, unless immediate action is taken, the use of these drugs

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