Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 291–297 | Cite as

Compulsory administration of oxytocin does not result in genuine moral enhancement

  • Vojin Rakić
Scientific Contribution


The question will be raised whether oxytocin can serve as an effective moral enhancer. Different types of moral enhancement will be addressed, one of them being compulsory moral enhancement. It will be argued that oxytocin cannot serve as an effective moral enhancer if its use is being made compulsory. Hence, compulsory administration of oxytocin does not result in genuine moral enhancement. In order to demonstrate this, a stipulation of the main potentially beneficial outcomes of using oxytocin as a moral enhancer will be offered, as well as a discussion of objections to the notion that oxytocin can be an effective moral enhancer. It will be concluded that mandatory administration of oxytocin is ineffective because of a combination of two reasons: (1) mandatory administration of oxytocin renders moral reflection practically superfluous; (2) without moral reflection the beneficial outcomes of the use of oxytocin do not outweigh its drawbacks to the degree that we could speak of effective moral enhancement.


Moral enhancement Oxytocin Benefits Objections Moral reflection Moral behavior Outcomes Compulsion Effectiveness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the Study of Bioethics, Institute for Social Sciences, European Division of the UNESCO Chair in BioethicsUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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