AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. November 2010, Volume 12, Number 11.

Ethics Poll

Neuroenhancement and Neurodiversity

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

Suppose a drug that is FDA-approved for treatment of narcolepsy has been found in widespread off-label use to help restore memory in older people who have age-associated memory loss (AAMI). Now the drug's manufacturer is performing clinical trials hoping to obtain FDA approval to market the drug for treatment of AAMI. Which of the following best describes how you think the drug should be used and why? The drug should be available:
A growing social movement considers behaviors associated with autism as expressions of healthy neurodiversity. Parents who are neurodiversity advocates decline medical interventions aimed at changing the autism-related behavior of their children. Which of the following best describes how you think the medical community should respond to those parents and why. Medicine should:
There is some correlation between extreme creativity and intelligence (e.g., Mozart, Picasso, Einstein), on the one hand, and eccentricity or difficulty in interacting socially with others, on the other hand.

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.