AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. September 2008, Volume 10, Number 9.

Ethics Poll

How Much Do You Think about Sleeping?

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

During your annual checkup, does your physician ask about your sleep habits and patterns?
Some drugs used to treat narcolepsy and attention-deficit disorder have been found to increase mental alertness in people without those diagnoses. Otherwise healthy individuals who wish to enhance their mental alertness through the use of such drugs should be allowed to do so under normal prescription restrictions regarding dosage and permission for refills.
People who fall asleep at the wheel--either because they are drowsy from lack of sleep or because they are taking medications that cause drowsiness--should be convicted of a felony if they crash and cause the death of another.
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 our readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.