A right to try psychedelics? An ethical evaluation of compassionate use of psychedelics for psychiatric disorders.
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[""Psychedelics are increasingly studied as treatment options for psychiatric disorders, showing promising results. However, official approval of most psychedelic treatments is not expected in the near future. Given the significant prevalence and impact of psychiatric disorders, the question arises whether certain individuals should have access to psychedelic treatment before official approval. This is called compassionate use, which allows patients with unmet medical needs access to unauthorized drugs for their potential therapeutic benefits. Nevertheless, compassionate use raises ethical concerns regarding safety and effectiveness, autonomous decision-making, equal access and hindering of efficient research processes. These concerns are further amplified when considering the unique aspects of psychedelics and psychiatric disorders. Therefore, this thesis explores whether compassionate use of psychedelics for psychiatric disorders is ethically justified, and if so, under what conditions. Firstly, the ethical considerations associated with compassionate use in general are examined, resulting in a moral framework. Subsequently, relevant characteristics of psychedelics and psychiatric disorders are described. By combining the general moral framework with these specific characteristics, it is argued that the compassionate use of psychedelics for psychiatric disorders is ethically justified under nine conditions, including the pivotal role of an assessment committee. Since this thesis concerns an initial exploration, further inquiry and practical testing are necessary.""]