Bioethics of military performance enhancement

Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019

165 J. Royal Army Med. Corps 226 (2019)

7 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2021

See all articles by Maxwell Mehlman

Maxwell Mehlman

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Biological interventions to improve performance, such as amphetamines, have a long history of military use, and in the future may include more advanced biotechnologies. This article discusses the ethics of using biomedical enhancements in the military. The article begins by describing the distinction between biomedical enhancements and interventions intended to prevent, treat or mitigate disease. It then sets forth three principles to guide the ethical use of bioenhancements—proportionality, paternalism and fairness. The article applies these principles to concerns raised by military bioenhancement: safety, fairness in access to military reward, carryover effects to civilian life, whether service members can be ordered to use bioenhancements and when they may be permitted to do so voluntarily.

Keywords: biomedical enhancement, military

Suggested Citation

Mehlman, Maxwell, Bioethics of military performance enhancement (2019). Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019, 165 J. Royal Army Med. Corps 226 (2019), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3789240

Maxwell Mehlman (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States

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