Amnesia Drugs

Jim Carrey did it. So did Ben Affleck. And who could forget Arnold’s trip down memory lane. The wiping out of memories has been a staple of science fiction and fantasy for years and it looks like science is catching up with it.

Scientists have developed a new drug called U0126, that when administered while remembering an event, will disrupt the memory, effectively erasing the memory from the persons mind. It’s an amazing break through that could have profound effects on victums of traumatic events.

It also opens up a floodgate of ethical concerns. Imagine a world where everything traumatic can be erased. A world full of happy, un-traumatized people would lead to a very different world then today.

Further, image being forced to forget something. You are a witness to a crime. The bad guys don’t want to kill you (because bad guys are nice that way), so that kidnap you, force you to remember the event and then inject the drug. Also, what about the government official who is called before congress? They could chemically forget an event before they had to testify. Could we prosecute someone who wiped their memory of a crime they committed?

Science is advancing at such a pace that people will be blindsided by the ethical ramifications. And I’m not seeing an end to it anytime soon.