AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. June 2007, Volume 9, Number 06

Ethics Poll

Drawing the Line Between Treatment and Enhancement

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Suppose there is a drug that improves memory and is covered by insurance for patients with Alzheimer's disease. If this medication is found to improve memory in the general population:
Parents should be permitted to use medical technology to choose the sex of their child prior to embryo implantation:
Many people who need an organ transplant cannot afford the life-long costs of immunosuppressant medications following the surgery. The government should pay for these medications, just as it does for dialysis.
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.