Drug for US soldiers' PTSD a 'moral lobotomy'
Rob Peters | January 11, 2008 at 10:46 amby
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The oddly named "Psychological Kevlar Act of 2007" and the desensitizing drug propranalol are suggestions being considered for posttraumatic stress injuries among soldiers.
The original opinion piece is lengthy but an excellent discussion of the issue.
What they have come up with has already been dubbed "the mourning after pill." Propranalol, if taken immediately following a traumatic event, can subdue a victim's stress response and so soften his or her perception of the memory. That does not mean the memory has been erased, but proponents claim that the drug can render it emotionally toothless.
I cannot convince myself that what is really being promoted isn't a form of moral lobotomy.
Will citizens be enlightened about what we are condoning in our ignorance, dispassion or indifference? Or will these two solutions simply bring us closer to realizing the bullet-proof mind, devoid of the inconvenient vulnerability of decent human beings to atrocity and horror? And finally, these are all questions about the morality of proposals that are trying to prevent injuries without changing the social circumstances that bring them about, which sidestep the most fundamental moral dilemma: that of sending people to war in the first place.
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