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Could Your Future Employer Force You To Take Ritalin?

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Scientists from some of Britain's leading institutions released a paper earlier this week containing warnings about the effects of productivity-enhancing technology on the workplace of tomorrow. It included the use of drugs such as Ritalin, "wearable computers" such as Google Glasses, and bionic limbs and implants. While these items may seem to benefit employees and employers in the short term, the scientists believe that the potential for abuse or coercion needs to be closely examined.

What's the Big Idea?

The concept of a "superhuman workplace" in which workers perform at higher and faster rates may seem like something out of science fiction, but the technologies are here today and will most likely improve and proliferate in the next 10-15 years. Bioethicist Jackie Leach Scully says, "We have very little idea of how these technologies will pan out...In the context of a highly pressurized work environment, how free is the choice not to adopt [them]?" In response to one prediction in which truck drivers might receive a requirement to take alertness drugs, a union representative was clear in his disapproval: "We would be very, very against anything like that."

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