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American Journal of Bioethics.

The Difficult Case of Voluntariness as Autonomy in Anti-Love Biotechnology

At the mention of “anti-love biotechnology,” one imagines futuristic science-fiction scenarios in which a “lovesick” patient swallows a magic pill or undergoes a certain treatment (à la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and ends up magically “cured.” It comes as no surprise that this notion of a “love cure” has long existed in folklore and popular culture. One only need look at the word “heartbreak” to realize the notion of love as a physically-mediated phenomenon is nothing new. While it is easy to dismiss the literal interpretation of the heart physically breaking, recent advances in neuroscience are revealing that the concept of love as a physiological phenomenon may not be so off after all. Only somewhat recently has neuroscience been able to begin to point to potential material bases (neurotransmitters, neural processes, etc.) for what we understand as “love.” This realm remains somewhat nebulous, but the natural question emerging from such discoveries seems to be, “Well, what can we do about it?” While some blunter, indirect “remedies” already exist (such as giving anti-androgen drugs to sex offenders), finer tuned interventions may be on the horizon.[…]

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Volume 13, Issue 11
November 2013

Target Articles.

If I Could Just Stop Loving You: Anti-Love Biotechnology and the Ethics of a Chemical Breakup Brian D. Earp, Olga A. Wudarczyk, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu