Would you take love-enhancing drugs?


If you've ever wished you could alleviate your heartaches like you do your headaches, or that you could boost your feelings of affection just like you can alertness, you'll want to pay attention to Brian Earp's research.

The Oxford ethicist is investigating the safety and viability of therapeutic love and anti-love drugs, arguing that the more we understand the connection between mind and body, the more we can influence it.

Earp has looked back at how drugs have been used in the past -- like MDMA in couples therapy in the 1980s -- and how they could be better understood and more safely used in the future. For instance, Oxytocin nasal spray could be used to boost bonding chemicals between partners --- perhaps to take the edge off of a fight, or to reign in a wandering heart.

"If there is the potential for therapeutic value, our suggestion is that there should be research done about what would be safe dosages -- what would be the regulatory structure that would allow the therapeutic use of these substances to come into play," said Earp.

From the Best of Q, the ethicist's conversation with Jian about chemically boosting or quelling our feelings of love, whether such research could be open to abuse.

Original show aired March 14, 2013

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