Should we compromise our health in order to make more money?
by eli-daoust on September 10, 2013 - 9:15pm
Last season, Genevra Richards, member of the committee that produced Human Enhancement and the Future of Work in U.K. has introduced a new drug not yet on the market that would increase workers productivity in order to help firms make more money with the workforce that they presently have. It would help people to have more concentration on what they do. Employees would have more ease to do manual work even though they would have already done many hours of work. It would also help them pass through their day with a positive attitude even though the conditions aren’t always the best. Furthermore, it could help older people to work longer. This new kind of drugs raises a lot of debates amongst scientists and ethicists from the U.K who are asking for a debate on whether this solution is ethical or not. These experts are questioning if this technique shall be seen as exploitation or as an advancement of technology. They are asking if the technology will be beneficial for the workforce or will the consequences do too much harm?
These debates raise opinion based on important and significant principles such as we shouldn’t use people as means. Every human has the right to be treated as a human, equal to one another and nourish their individual freedom and rights. People should not be exploited nor be used to help someone in power to reach their goal. It would help the factories ‘owners to exploit their employees and give them worse working conditions assuming that the drug would help their employees to endure the hard working conditions. On the other side of the debate we know that the situation which will make greater good is if these drugs are inserted in the workforce. Some employees might be exploited because of their higher capacity and productivity but more goods and services could be provided for the society which would have more wealth. A whole society and a country’s economy could benefit from this technology. If we look at both sides we can see that the greater good would be for the society and this means giving these drugs to the employees.
I think that even though we could really benefit from this new drug and that it could help the economy, it isn’t worth it. Why should we compromise the working conditions of a few people for the wealth of our society? Each individual has the right to be happy and to have a job where they can fulfill themselves. This drug shouldn’t even be debated. What did we do with the human rights? It gives the impression that some people are compared to objects and there to quench the numerous demand of multinationals. We are living in a world where we defend individual’s rights but on the other side exploitation is still present. This could lead to more ethical questions such as if the business owners can require their employees to take this medicine to allow them to work for them. In my opinion, inserting this kind of drug wouldn’t be a technological progress but a regression towards what we have lived during the industrial revolution. If we cross this line today, what else will human have to sacrifice for people in power eventually? Aren’t we supposed to be doing progress?
CBCnews. "Drugs, implants to enhance work raise ethics debate." 7 november 2012. CBCnews. 7 september 2013. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/11/07/drugs-technology-work....