Scientists in Britain want to lace the water supply with lithium as a way to blunt the surge in pandemic-related suicides – a measure one medical professional says has little to do with wanting to "save everybody."
For a month starting this Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is locking down his country because of a resurgence of coronavirus cases. The measure, however, comes with a steep price tag, both economically and in terms of mental health.
The Brits are on pace to lose an extra 150,000 people from suicides and domestic violence – a number far greater, according to the Daily Mail, than will die from the virus.
Dr. Robert Cranston, a medical ethicist with the Christian Medical Association, says the proposal to lace the water supply with a small dose of the antipsychotic drug sounds like something from a dystopian novel.
"The idea of doing something like that from the top down really bothers me," Dr. Cranston tells OneNewsNow. "Kinda sounds like Big Brother."
He says it would ethically be better to first test the low dose regimen on rats or rabbits, and then let the people vote on the idea. The mere fact that the government is even considering it highlights the unintended cost of lockdowns. And economics has to be part of the equation.
"The cost of closing down segments of the population to those small business owners and then to the parents that have to stay home and teach their kids and they can't go to work -- that's in the billions of dollars," the medical ethicist notes.
As for the claim that it is callous to put dollars against lives, Dr. Cranston says governments already do it all time.
"We put budgets on our healthcare. If we really wanted to save everybody, we'd give half our GDP to medicine, but we don't," he concludes.