Athletes Aren’t the Only Ones Using Performance Enhancing Drugs

U.S. News and World Report’s Alex Kingsbury does a nice job discussing another profession where the use of performance enhancing drug is believed to be widespread — classical musicians. According to Kingsbury, a significant percentage of musicians — as well as actrs and other performers — turn to beta blockers to lower their blood pressure and thereby presumably improve their performance.

Use of Ritalin and other ADHD drugs is allegedly common on college campuses, and personally I don’t start my day without a 32 ounce helping of my favorite caffeine-laced performance enhancing diet cola.

It is a shame that Kingsbury can’t take the obvious next step as to whether those of us who use our own performance enhancing drugs should really be judging athletes who use drugs more appropriate to their profession. Instead he dredges up bioethicist Greg Kaebnick who offers this pearl of wisdom,

There’s no general ethical principle for enhancement — a performance that one group celebrates as a manifestation of natural talent and practice boosted by a drug, another group sees as cheating.

Ah, the ad hocracy that is contemporary bioethics. Forget any attempt at logical consistency or, god forbid, something as quaint as a general ethical principle.

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