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Forget Something? We Wish We Could

'Therapeutic forgetting' helps trauma victims endure their memories.

The Ethical Concerns continued...

Yes, there's possible downside to propranolol, McGaugh tells WebMD. "There is a chance that another memory could be affected. If the person gets a call and learns that they have a new grandchild during that time, they might not have quite as strong an experience of that news. Everything comes with a small price. But these are not amnesia pills."

But can a pill take away remorse? "That's silliness," says McGaugh. Will college men rape women students because they don't feel remorse? "Good grief. We're not talking about failing to remember what happened. We're talking about a drug that could prevent memory from taking over your existence, as PTSD does.

"We have people from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, still living with the horrors of that remembered trauma. If you asked any of these people if you would want to have PTSD or not, what do you think their answer would be?"

Published April 9, 2004.

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