A medical expert has said that the controversial ADHD drug Ritalin could be prescribed to healthy people to boost brain power.
In an article published in the BMJ Professor John Harris said that ‘it is not rational to be against human enhancement’ and as a result it would be unethical to stop healthy individuals taking Ritalin, also known as methylphenidate, to boost their mental performance.
The bioethics professor at the University of Manchester said: ‘Humans are creatures that result from an enhancement process called evolution and moreover are inveterate self-improvers in every conceivable way.’
The drug is commonly used to treat children and young people with ADHD.
But due to its ability to boost attention and study skills, healthy students are thought to use the drug to improve their academic performance.
Professor Harris’s comments have been criticised by other professionals, including Professor Anjan Chatterjee from the University of Pennsylvania, who says there are too many risks in taking Ritalin unless people are actually ill.