"Children’s perspectives on stimulant drug treatments, self-transformation and moral agency: A role for medical ethics and mental health care providers" by Dr Ilina Singh

Past Event

24 April 2012, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

This seminar is hosted by the Institute for Science and Ethics

Summary: In this talk I use an empirical approach to evaluate the claim that stimulant drugs pose a threat to authenticity and to children’s capacity for moral agency. Drawing on a study involving over 150 families in two countries, I show that children are able to report threats to authenticity related to stimulant drug treatments, but that the majority of children are not concerned with such threats. On balance, children report that stimulant drugs improve their capacity for moral agency, and they associate this capacity with an ability to meet normative expectations. This association raises an important question about whether the use of stimulant drugs in children in fact threatens the capacity to protest bad conditions and, as a consequence, allows bad conditions to prevail. I suggest that medical professionals should play a role in ensuring that the risks of stimulant drug treatment are minimised, and the benefits are maximised.

Speaker: Dr Ilina Singh, Reader in Bioethics and Society, London School of Economics

Respondent: Dr Thomas Douglas, James Martin Fellow, Institute for Science and Ethics