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Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2015 Jul;24(3):323-36. doi: 10.1017/S0963180114000206. Epub 2014 Jun 17.

The medicalization of love.


Pharmaceuticals or other emerging technologies could be used to enhance (or diminish) feelings of lust, attraction, and attachment in adult romantic partnerships. Although such interventions could conceivably be used to promote individual (and couple) well-being, their widespread development and/or adoption might lead to the 'medicalization' of human love and heartache--for some, a source of a serious concern. In this essay, we argue that the medicalization of love need not necessarily be problematic, on balance, but could plausibly be expected to have either good or bad consequences depending upon how it unfolds. By anticipating some of the specific ways in which these technologies could yield unwanted outcomes, bioethicists and others can help to direct the course of love's medicalization--should it happen to occur--more toward the 'good' side than the 'bad.'


ethics; love; love drugs; marriage; medicalization; neuroenhancement

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