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New chapter in volume by the OECD: Cognitive Enhancement in Children by Using Prescription Drugs

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

This chapter explores the use of prescription drugs with the aim of enhancing the cognitive performance in children in the absence of any medical need. This so-called pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement provokes ethical and social concerns. Although not an epidemic, a non-negligible number of children are put at risk of side effects, while other children and parents may feel pressured to take or administer such drugs. After defining this behaviour and discussing its effects, this chapter describes arguments in the ethics debate favouring or opposing this behaviour. It then gives insights into how common this phenomenon is, what parents and children think about it and what affects their decisions to use such drugs. The chapter ends with strategies to prevent risky use and important research gaps. It has been published in the volume "Education in the Digital Age. Healthy and Happy Children" by the OECD. Link to the chapter


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