Regret a past decision? Have a broken heart? Addicted to food?
A recently launched company claims to have "a simple, non-surgical technique to remove problem memories." Apparently, "the technique deconstructs memory from its core making a relapse virtually impossible."
While Hollywood stretches its imagination to shock society with the concept of memory erasure in futuristic films, like Paycheck with Ben Affleck and Jim Carrey's Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind, reality seems to be in hot pursuit.
Regardless of this company's claims, do you have the "right to erase your memories"?
While freedom of speech (and the right not to speak) is protected by the U.S. Constitution, freedom of thought is not explicity protected. So, do U.S. citizens have the right to erase their memories? Is freedom of thought a fundamental human right?
What if Andrew Fastow, Enron's CFO, erased his memory? Would this be good for business, let alone society? How would you be able to trust anyone? Would people (or companies and governments) expect you to take a blood test or a brain scan to help determine your trustworthiness?
Who owns your memories? Do you have cognitive liberty or not? Clearly, the battle for your mind is heating up fast. (More neuroethics on Brain Waves)