Ethics of Performance-Enhancing Drugs Professional Sports

Ethics of Performance-Enhancing Drugs Professional Sports -...

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Jack Brinck WRIT 140 Danison Robinson 10/11/06 Ethics of Performance-Enhancing Drugs Individual liberty is the right of all autonomous, rational beings to exercise those rights which are outside government control. Freedom of speech is generally accepted as one of these rights, as well as the right to choose a religion and choose a profession. Indeed, most agree that the existence of these rights is intuitive and needs no explanations. But there are limits to one’s individual rights. When, through exercising individual liberty, harm is done to others, the original exercise cannot be deemed acceptable. In simpler terms, one’s right to swing his arm stops when it hits another’s nose. Thus, the first person’s individual liberty must be restricted right before the point of contact with the other’s nose. Such is the case with performance- enhancing drugs. If a professional athlete or international amateur could use steroids without any reasonable negative effects on others, then it would be deemed acceptable. But this is not the case. Performance-enhancing drugs in fact sacrifice the individual liberties of others. Thus, professional and international amateur sports leagues are obligated to outlaw the supposed right of professional and international amateur athletes to use performance enhancing drugs, as this right infringes upon the rights of others. At the highest level of sports, the athletes make a living by being able to perform in their sport at an exceptional level. If this sport values speed or strength, then there is an inherent appeal to use performance enhancing drugs, as their results will better one’s performance and increase his/her livelihood. Using could create an advantage that brings about national recognition and admiration in the form of being named Most Valuable Player, lucrative endorsement deals, or a gold medal. And if one could merely inject a fluid into oneself and see
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Brinck 2 results in a short time period that bring about these desirable results, why not use? Thus, there clearly exists a motivation to excel in a given sport due to its attractive results.
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