Archive for December, 2015
The freedom to become an addict: The ethical implications of addiction vaccines
Posted by Karen Rommelfanger in addiction, Uncategorized on December 22, 2015
*This post was originally featured on The Neuroethics Blog.
by Tabitha Moses
Tabitha Moses, M.S., is Administrative and Research Coordinator at Lehman College, CUNY, as well as a Research Affiliate at the National Core for Neuroethics at the University of British Columbia. Tabitha earned her BA in Cognitive Science and Philosophy and MS in Biotechnology from The Johns Hopkins University. She has conducted research in the areas of addiction, mental illness, and emerging neurotechnologies. She hopes to continue her education through a joint MD/PhD in Neuroscience while maintaining a focus on neuroethics.
The introduction of “addiction vaccines” has brought with it a belief that we have the potential to cure addicts before they have ever even tried a drug. Proponents of addiction vaccines hold that they will:
- prevent children from becoming addicted to drugs in the future,
- allow addicts to easily and safely stop using drugs, and
- potentially lower the social and economic costs of addiction for society at large.
However, it is critical to be aware of the limitations and risks – both ethical and physical – of introducing these vaccines into mainstream medical care.