Ethics of Erasing Memory
Neuroscientists have identified a chemical that can erase the connections between brain cells, essentially wiping out memories. Although it can't yet target specific experiences, like a traumatic event, its existence raises a lot of big ethical issues.
Would it be ethical to erase a person's bad memories for therapy reasons once this chemical can target traumatic events?
- Yes, If a person is unable to function normally because of an extremely traumatic event, erasing those memories would be very helpful.
- No, If we're going to start messing with memory, a lot of unpleasant and difficult memories form who we are. We learn. It becomes part of our character, our identity. Some might say the struggle against bad experiences is part of what makes us better people.
By David Levin