The Ethics of Erasing Memories in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind The Ethics of Erasing Memories What if you could erase bad memories? Would you erase the memory of a bad relationship? An unpleasant experience? What if you were traumatized by combat, a terrible accident, or a brutal assault? What if your memories disturbed your sleep, caused nightmares, changed your personality, affected your work and relationships, and were damaging to your physical health? Current Treatment for PTSD Cognitive behavior therapy helps individuals manage their symptoms by recognizing triggers and learning to replace negative thoughts and behaviors with positive ones. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is multi-phase treatment, part of which teaches individuals new responses to disturbing images. New Research Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have isolated proteins in the brain's "fear center." If the proteins are removed, fearful memories can be removed. Although research is still in the early stages, this work could lead to a drug or medical procedure that could eliminate the painful memories that lead to PTSD. Would you"¦? Take a pill? Undergo brain surgery? Who decides? Does the patient make the decision to have memories excised? Can family members get a court order for treatment if a person is incapacitated by PTSD? How long should an individual undergo other types of therapy until it is determined that nothing will work as well as total memory erasure? Legal and Ethical Issues

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