Leaving meaningfully is a concept that may not have one unique standard with which it could be measured. Nevertheless, authenticity as a fundamental human value is a notion that is strongly intertwined with a purposeful life (Degrazia, 2000). Nowadays, struggling with psychological health becomes increasingly prevalent, and besides the detriment caused by mental health problems, their treatment is also capable of collateral damage (Plotz, 2003a). A number of psychopharmaceuticals, such as Prozac, may interfere with the sense of self and the experience of authentic emotions. From my standpoint, the intensive intrusion of the drug into the emotional life of a patient is an issue that may call for the revaluation of norms within mental health treatment.
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One of the reasons for this is the hazard associated with psychopharmaceuticals and trends in medicine, such as genetic engineering, which poses several questions on the essence of human existence. It is argued that developed occidental societies are in the process of adopting eugenic culture (Shenk, 1997). Bioenhacement, for instance, could be viewed as an evitable process driven by the consumerist market (Plotz, 2003b). In this way, the disregard towards concerns apropos human nature becomes more widespread (Hughes, 1996). This desire to perfect and cure all individual imperfections may contradict the value of authenticity, which stems not only from strengths but also from the flaws and shortcomings associated with being a human.
Psychopharmaceuticals and current processes in medicine could be viewed as such that erase some of the qualities that make one a person, for example, the authenticity of emotional life. Despite the raised concerns, the process seems inescapable, and restraining biomedical development may appear prudish and outmoded. Considering specifically the benefits of psychopharmaceuticals, insistence on reversing the advances in the domain may not be sensible, and the solution may lay in the balance.
Degrazia, D. (2000). Prozac, enhancement, and self-creation. The Hastings Center Report, 30(2), 34.
Hughes, J. (1996). Embracing change with all four arms: A post-humanist defense of genetic engineering. Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics, 6(4), 94-101.
Shenk, D. (1997). Biocapitalism: What price the genetic revolution?. Harper’s Magazine.
Plotz, D. (2003a). Building a better you. Slate.
Plotz, D. (2003b). The ethics of enhancement. Slate.