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.
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‘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.