Therapy and enhancement

It is important for medical professionals and patients to understand the difference between improvement and care. Enhancements play a supporting role in the treatment of diseases, according to Tiwari, Ruchi Tiwari, Demetra S. Tsapepas, Jaclyn T. Powell, and Spencer T. Martin (2013). Health professionals are at a fork in the road when it comes to enhancement and therapy. The difference between therapy and improvement is critical because it allows health care facilities to focus on the right patients and provide them with the services they need.
Distinction between therapy and enhancement is essential for a variety of reasons. The main reason why there should be a distinction between therapy and enhancement is that the modern world has not yet achieved a perfect state where all patients can be attended to and surplus equipment, drugs, and time allocated for medical improvements. Cabrera, Fitz, and Reiner (2014) argue that enhancement is acceptable if it enables development towards what the society considers to be the norm, regardless of cognitive, affective or social domains. In addition, their observation led to the conclusion that therapy-enhancement distinction improves comfort regarding the use of pharmacological enhancements. Therefore, differentiating enhancement from treatment will help medics to improve the realization of normative goals.

It is a waste of money and time trying to change people’s appearances at the expense of urgent medical needs such as equipment, drugs and staff. Enhancement should be allowed when there is the need to satisfy the aesthetic needs of patients. People that use muscle, breast, and buttocks boosters think that having such features will improve their appearance. The lack of these features does not affect their lives or health. In most cases, these individuals usually want to appear beautiful or masculine. The money and time that medical experts use to attend to patients that seek enhancements can be channeled to other useful areas. Differentiating therapy and enhancement will help countries to save a lot of money and use it to buy new equipment and recruit staff.

It is necessary to differentiate between enhancement and therapy to give patients options and enable them to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each practice. Some people seek enhancements without understanding their side effects, while others may reject therapy without knowing that their health conditions might deteriorate. Earp, Sandberg, Kahana, and Savulescu (2014), argue that understanding these issues will enable patients to know that muscle boosters have short-term aesthetic benefits but might as well damage their body tissues or interfere with their blood pressure and other vital body processes. On the other hand, educating people on the need for vaccines will help them to know that they will be less susceptible to infections like tuberculosis, measles, and polio. Therefore, differentiating between therapy and enhancement will enable patients to understand the value of each process before making a decision.


Farah Focquaert and Maartje Schermer (2015) claim that “One of the reasons why moral enhancement may be controversial, is because the advantages of moral enhancement may fall upon society rather than on those who are enhanced”. This means that the dilemma facing most therapists and patients is when to draw a line between these two issues. The Paradox of the Heap concept makes it difficult to differentiate the good and bad sides of differentiating between therapy and enhancement. Adèle Lafrance Robisnon, Joanne Dolhanty, and Leslie Greenberg (2015) believe that family-based therapy is an enhancement practice regarded as the best treatment of eating disorders in children and Adolescents. Therefore, it becomes meaningless distinguish between therapy and enhancement in such ambiguous cases.

Johann AR Roduit, Jan‐Christoph Heilinger, and Holger Baumann (2015) argue that both treatment and enhancements are used to alter body image or appearance through processes such as plastic surgery. According to these authors vaccines are the best examples of enhancements that give people hope that they will not be affected by the targeted disease. This is a form of enhancement and treatment that has become vital in the modern society, since its benefits include saving lives and reducing the impacts and spread of diseases. At the same time, the vaccines can be classified as therapy efforts that aim at preventing diseases and infections. This means that it is useless trying to differentiate between therapy and enhancements.


It is evident that there is a clear distinction between therapy and enhancements. I believe that it is important to differentiate between these two practices to ensure both medical experts and patients understand their advantages and disadvantages. However, these distinctions are not applicable in most cases since some issues are complex and cannot be categorized as therapy or enhancement. In addition, the differences should be based on the end results and not the procedures involved or ethical considerations. If an enhancement or therapy will be beneficial to an individual then it should be done without objection. All in all, it is important to differentiate between therapy and enhancements to enable states, therapists and patients to understand the value of their investments in each of these aspects.


Cabrera, L., Fitz, N., & Reiner, P. (2014). Empirical Support for the Moral Salience of the Therapy-Enhancement Distinction in the Debate Over Cognitive, Affective and Social Enhancement. Neuroethics, 8(3), 243-256.

Earp, B. D., Sandberg, A., Kahana, G., & Savulescu, J. (2014). When is diminishment a form of enhancement? Rethinking the enhancement debate in biomedical ethics. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 8(12).

Focquaert, F., & Schermer, M. (2015). Moral enhancement: Do means matter morally?

Neuroethics, 8(2), 139-151.

Robinson, A. L., Dolhanty, J., & Greenberg, L. (2015). Emotion‐focused family therapy for

eating disorders in children and adolescents. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 22(1), 75-82.

Roduit, J. A. R., Heilinger, J.-C., & Baumann, H. (2015), Ideas of Perfection and the Ethics of

Human Enhancement. Bioethics, 29: 622–630. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12192.

Tiwari, R., Tsapepas, D. S., Powell, J. T., & Martin, S. T. (2013). Enhancements in healthcare

information technology systems: customizing vendor-supplied clinical decision support for a high-risk patient population. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 20(2), 377-380.

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