A drug which appears to erase painful memories has been developed by scientists.
The astonishing treatment could help sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder and those whose lives are plagued by hurtful recurrent memories.
But British experts said the breakthrough raises disturbing ethical questions about what makes us human.
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They also warned it could have damaging psychological consequences, preventing those who take it from learning from their mistakes.
Dr Daniel Sokol, a lecturer in medical ethics at St George’s, University of London, said: ‘Removing bad memories is not like removing a wart or a mole. It will change our personal identity since who we are is linked to our memories.
‘It may perhaps be beneficial in some cases, but before eradicating memories, we must reflect on the knock-on effects that this will have on individuals, society and our sense of humanity.’
Dutch researchers claim to have erased bad memories by using ‘beta-blocker’ drugs, which are usually prescribed to patients with heart disease.