Erasing Painful Memories Is Now Possible But Is It The Right Thing To Do?
I suppose this would be one of those "be careful what you wish for" stories. I can certainly understand the desire by scientists to want to help those who have been through very traumatic events. I can also see this as science taking away a basic human element of survival.
Here's what we know. According to an article published by Sky News, there has been a breakthrough in the ability to manipulate or even remove bad memories. The promise of this study is that this could lead to a "cure" for PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This malady affects thousands of men and women, especially those who have served in times of war. It is believed that this disorder is one of the leading catalysts for suicide among veterans. It's a real thing with real consequences and there needs to be a solution to this problem.
The research that has been disclosed involved manipulating neurons in the brain. Scientists have discovered that if certain neurons were genetically removed, specific memories could be erased without affecting other memories.
That could mean an end to PTSD, the pains of addiction, and the removal of other traumatic memories which haunt people throughout their lives.
The downside and the ethical dilemma associated with this potential procedure has to do with the way the human animal is created. Since we all learn from our mistakes, could removing a painful memory lead us to make a similar mistake again?
The other question might be, What memories are painful enough to erase? Is it only war and addiction? Could it be a rape or a horrible accident or fire? Would doctors be willing to remove the memory of a painful breakup?
The scientific breakthrough is amazing to me. The consequences and moral dilemma have certainly tempered my enthusiasm for such a procedure. What would you say if this procedure was presented for approval?