Disease, Normality, and Current Pharmacological Moral Modification

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Response to commentary. We are grateful to Crockett and Craigie for their interesting remarks on our paper. We accept Crockett’s claim that there is a need for caution in drawing inferences about patient groups from work on healthy volunteers in the laboratory. However, we believe that the evidence we cited established a strong presumption that many of the patients who are routinely taking a medication, including many people properly prescribed the medication for a medical condition, have morally significant aspects of their cognition and behavior modified in a way that is unintended and may sometimes be unwelcome. Crockett notes that in some cases the effects of long-term drug use may differ, sometimes markedly, from the effects of short-term use. However, if acute use of a drug affects a neural system involved in mediating moral cognition or behavior, this nevertheless provides some evidence that chronic use of the drug may affect that same system and thus have morally significant effects. It is also plausible, in some cases, that an acute moral effect would give rise to a chronic moral effect via cognitive mechanisms. ...
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The Moral Content of Psychiatric Treatment.Pickard, Hanna & Pearce, Steve

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