“I’ll Forget All the Bad and Remember Only the Good”
From Chapter 9 of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”, Meg says to her mother regarding any disturbing events experienced at the party she had attended, “I won't let it hurt me. I'll forget all the bad and remember only the good..”
Perhaps in the time of Louisa May Alcott, Meg’s response to her mother’s concerns was more in the way of wishful thinking. However, this is the 21st Century and things have changed. We now have neuro and psychopharmacology research and practice and there is an increasing probability that people with traumatic experiences of all sorts and who would be candidates for the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and associated deteriorated quality of life now may,indeed,have the chance to “forget all the bad” and live more comfortable lives. In fact, currently there is use of beta-blocker drugs to attempt to do just that and there is a good possibility that more effective and safe drugs can be available in the future. But as the target article and commentaries about the subject of drug prevention of PTSD in the September 2007 issue of The American Journal of Bioethics suggests, there are conflicting views about whether memory should be “tampered with”.
Here is the question for my blog visitors: If a safe and effective drug was available to block out a person’s bad memories and preserve the good ones, should that drug be approved for everyone to use? If not everyone, then who? Or is this “tampering” with memory just plain wrong and shouldn’t be done? What would you say? ..Maurice.