Depression, SSRIs and the Supposed Obligation to Suffer Mentally
Olsen, J. Mark
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 2006 September; 16(3): 283-303
Within both popular and academic literature, concerns have been expressed about the implications of antidepressant use on character development. In this paper, I identify specific versions of these worries and argue that they are misguided. I begin by arguing that the obligation to suffer if it will bring about a noble character is imagined. Legitimate concerns about character enhancement remain, but they do not count against most antidepressant use. Thus there is no moral prohibition against antidepressant use. Furthermore, some of the calls for caution about antidepressant use, such as those expressed by the President's Council on Bioethics, are overstated.
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