A New pill hits the market, and peoples memories are what it affects.
|Late on a warm Thursday night in August, a man in was sitting in his living room just sat down and turned on the evening news. He wasn’t the only person, as live feeds were streaming all over the internet of tonights broadcast. The big story tonight was of a major medication company talking about the release of a new medication.
Anna Lanchit, a NBC reporter, starts the interview staring at one camera then the next while reading off her teleprompter. Ms. Lanchit had on a conservative but appealing red dress, and her smile showed some very white teeth. Her guest was sitting to the right side of her, he was an older Japanese man with black-grey hair, he could be described as a man skinny man in a skinny red tie, white shirt, and well-made grey business suit who smiles a little too much. His confidence and overly personable composure also make him seem a little fake, but I could see why he’s the one who was chosen to talk on camera.
Anna now starts looking at the front main camera as she starts the interview off.
“..The new pill, which was designed by the Amoto Corporation to erase a person memory, was finally sanctioned late yesterday evening by the FDA. This was the last road block for the drugs use as a new medical aid for doctors in America. Many countries have been using the new pill, called Eracia, for the last six months now. The controversial medication is said to be a last resort, it is to be used solely by doctors when all other treatment methods have been exhausted. Many in the medical community have already resigned from the idea of ever using such a drug, which for all intensive purposes gives a person a fresh start, but at a high cost. And the real question we ask today: Is the cost to high?”
“We have the Amoto Corporations CEO, Mr. Nagasaki, here today to tell us more about the drug and the effects. Thank you for coming to NBC studious to discuss this topic Mr. Nagasaki.”
“The pleasures all mine Anna. I wanted to put peoples minds at ease about the effects and uses for the Eracia drug we recently developed. I feel the people, and the media, need to understand why we decided to create a drug like this. In all honestly it’s about giving doctors the means to help people who otherwise can’t be helped.”
“Could you give us some examples of cases you’re referring too?”
“Yes, many cases involve individuals who would spend their lives confined in psychiatric institutions or those who can no longer function due to mental distress. Again, it would only be with their approval, the states approval or with the approval the guardians of the individuals, if they’re not capable of making sound medical decisions.”
“And this drug erases all memories the person has of the past, their childhood, speech, their friends, everything?”
“No, that’s not quite correct. The drug works by disconnecting pathways from each other in the brain. As you can see from this 3D model, small amounts of the drug disconnect more recently formed pathways, and as you up the dosage you’ll see here that older memory pathways in this section of the brain start to become disconnect. In reality we can virtually erase only recent memories or slightly older ones to help the patient. This gives us the ability to choose how long of a period to erase to help a particular patient. For example if someone was raped or saw a murder we could use the drug to erase only their short term memories. This will save lives. Imagine the trauma that was once irreversibly trapped in a person, trauma that we can now take away from .”
“As you know Mr. Nagasaki some people and groups are unsure about Eracia and upset that this drug was even developed. What’s to stop someone from giving this drug to someone illegally? I believe that’s what scares most Americans.”
“The drug can only be given out by doctors and wont me accessible by just anyone. It’s only given to a few clinics in America and only under the strictest conditions, and in the smallest amounts. There is no way to get a hold of the drug without strict approval.”
“And what about those who say you want to expand the drugs use to inmates and criminals in our penal system; is there any truth to those rumours?”
“ Yes, and no. We have been examining different ways Eracia could help different parts of society, this is true. However, we have no immediate plans to do anything other than help people medically. That being said, we have looked at the possibility that our drug could revolutionize the penal system in many countries. For example, if a person was traumatized at some point in their life and from that point on became a menace to society. Wouldn’t it make sense to reform them by erasing their painful past, and making them a useful member of society again, instead of imprisoning them for life or giving them the death penalty? Wouldn’t that be a kinder fate?”
“I suppose that’s a debate for a later date, as we’re almost out of time. Do you have any last words for our viewer Mr. Nagasaki?”
“I do. I would only like to say that people shouldn’t be scared of the future. We have made something incredible which will help heal countless people. I believe, in time, people will see the virtue of us having a pill like Eracia, and that this uneasiness we see today will pass as the benefits become clear. Thank you again for your time Anna.”
“No, thank you Mr. Nagasaki for your time. It was a pleasure talking to you today and you were very informative.”
“Now, we bring you a video that went viral of an advocate against this new form of rehabilitation that some are calling a miracle. Here we have Dr. Hendricks from Seattle Washington giving a emotional and insightful speech on Eracia.”
“Now, I don’t disagree that this new drug Eracia is a medical marvel. But, I do not think it is something anyone has the right to use on anyone else. After all, we have made drugs in the past that we don’t allow the public to use because it isn’t safe. And this is one of those drugs. I am also against the death penalty like Mr. Nagasaki, but I see something like this in the same light. No one should have the right to take another persons memories. It’s not a natural thing, it’s not testes enough, and the fact it isn’t reversible should trouble everyone.”
“As the technological sciences of the day race forward, we find ourselves in positions we were never in in the past. For example; Facebook, Google and the rest of the internet now influence marketing so heavily that they have changed the face of privacy in the world forever. In fact, I’d say nothing you do on the internet is private anymore. We have to imagine using the internet today as if there were a countless mass of people behind us, watching our screens as each letter we type is being typed in. Where, in the past, if someone read a piece of your mail it was a federal crime. These days, Google scans your e-mails for information so they can direct ads personally at you, and the government scans for potential terrorists. ”
“I say, like having the ability to spy on people using the internet, we have the ability to do it, but it’s not worth the impact it will have on peoples privacy or memories. For aren’t our memories our most private things? Are they not who we’re as a person, our experiences, our dreams, our lives? I say they are not to be trampled on, whether good or bad, those memories are who we are. And taking those away is paramount to taking someones life away. Even if those moments were a few days or weeks, or who know how long, those moments are theirs.”
“This new drug is the beginning of just a few of the new drugs our sciences have now allowed us to create. But, is it ok to use it? I say no. It’s to dangerous to have something that irreversibly takes memories away. We should focus on helping people with the memories they have, not taking them away forever.”
“I wanted to end off with saying, there were times, times I wish I couldn’t remember having had certain bad things happen in my life. I wish I couldn’t remember my family dogs dying or the pain of some of my friends and family passing away. The bad memories hurt. They hurt a lot, but this drug won’t just take just those bad memories away. This drug would take everything away for a period of time, it would take the memories of my wife, it would take the memories of me playing with my dog; it would take too much. And what life experience would I have then? This isn’t a cure, it’s a setback.”
As the camera pans in on Anna Lanchit, and her red dress, giving here final words on the topic of the day, the man on the couch watching the news turned off the TV.
The man gave out a slight sign. “I can’t believe they’d allow something like this to pass the FDA. It’s paramount to allowing people to murder their past selves and try again. It’s insane to even think you could erase a persons memory of them murdering, raping or having seen trauma and consider that good. That’s no punishment for criminals, or mental health cure. It’s a modern lobotomy, something to cure the problem, not the person. This isn’t to made help the people recover, it’s no we don’t have to deal with others problems. It makes so people don’t have to deal with others or spend time and money of helping our fellow man. “
The man then reached for a large pill bottle and downed the lot.
“Tonight, we talk to ex-doctor Hendricks who once made a popular video on his outrage of the Eracia drug. He himself took large quantities of the medication to show people that you lose not just the bad memories but the good ones memories, and in fact every memory for the period of time the drug encompasses.”
“Mr. Hendricks, what was the last thing you remember before waking up on the couch in your home?”
“You can call me John, Anna. I was 23. I still think I’m 23. I was playing football with some friends and then I just woke up, alone, a 50 year old man in a strange house. I was in shock. I still am in some respects. It’s like the past 30 years just never happened.”
“This is all pretty incredible John. Do you think you did this to make a statement about Eraca, and if so do you think it was the right way to go about it? It changed your life forever.”
“I know it seems strange but I don’t see myself as the person who made the choice. A 50 year old man, with a lifetime of medical knowledge and a passion for peoples wellbeing, made that choice. I don’t know if I would make a choice like that, I don’t see myself as him though. And I think he did make his point, I mean he didn’t leave a note for me or anything, but he chose to erase some very specific memories.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I lost all my knowledge of being a doctor. He erased everything but my first years of medical school. I even lost the memories of everything to do with my wife, except for meeting her for the first few times in class. He must have calculated the exact medication to make me lose every memory until that point or at least in that ballpark; he was a doctor after all. He left me here alone at 50, with a passion to finish a doctorate that I’m probably to old to complete now, and without any knowledge of the person we loved the most. I believe he meant this all to mean something, and I honestly don’t know what that was. I mean, I could guess, but only he knew for sure, and I think… I think that that might be the point.”