Ethics in Psychedelic Therapy: The Promises and Pitfalls of Increased Suggestibility

Psychedelics are known to enhance suggestibility – in other words, the quality of being inclined to accept and act on the suggestions of others. (Interestingly, those who score high in trait conscientiousness – or being careful, diligent, efficient, and organised – are the most sensitive to this effect of psychedelics.) Psychedelic users are well aware…

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Where Ecstasy Meets Power: The Unique Risks of MDMA Therapy

Several clinical trials have concluded that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy – utilised for the treatment of PTSD – is safe (as well as highly effective). But this doesn’t necessarily mean the treatment is risk-free.  MDMA therapy entails unique risks, and here I don’t mean concerns about possible neurotoxicity. The subject of MDMA’s neurotoxicity is complicated; while some…

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Psychiatry’s Moral Dilemma: The Pros and Cons of a Mental Health Diagnosis

The decision to provide a mental health diagnosis to someone experiencing psychological distress – a range of troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviours – often presents a moral dilemma. Of course, there may be an assumption among psychiatrists that diagnoses are, generally speaking, in a patient’s best interest, since they are intended to pinpoint what condition…

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Should We Walk Away From Omelas?

Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (1973) poses an interesting and thorny moral conundrum. In this story, the narrator describes the utopian city of Omelas, whose very utopianism, prosperity, and unspoiled happiness depend on the perpetual misery of a single child, hidden and locked away in a dark,…

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Does Veganism Entail Antinatalism?

Many antinatalists embrace veganism, as they find these lifestyle decisions to be ethically consonant with each other. Yet most ethical vegans are not against having children. Whether one position entails the other depends on the particular ethic at play: If the goal is to prevent and minimise suffering, then does this not entail antinatalism? This…

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