Military Use of Biomedical Performance Enhancements: Ethical, Legal, and Policy Concerns

Date of Event



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 presentation discusses the ethics of using biomedical enhancements in the military. The presentation 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 presentation applies these principles to concerns raised by military bioenhancement: safety, fairness in access to military reward, carry-over effects to civilian life, whether service members can be ordered to use bioenhancements, and when they may be permitted to do so voluntarily.

Lecture Series

Elena and Miles Zaremski Law-Medicine Forum

Subject Headings

military ethics; performance enhancement and the military; military--United States; bioenhancement; military bioenhancements


CWRU Law Virtual Event

Document Type