The Irish government has recently proposed a new public health initiative. After the great success of its water fluoridation programme, it has decided to lace the public water supply with small doses of smart drugs that improve human cognitive functioning.
In particular, it has decided to introduce the drug modafinil (Provigil) into the public water supply. Unsurprisingly, this decision has met with considerable opposition.
A group of concerned citizens, headed by Dr John Danaher from the NUI Galway School of Law, challenged the decision on the grounds that it was a violation of the personal rights guaranteed to citizens under Article 40.3 of the Irish Constitution.
At trial, the government introduced expert evidence from Professor Julian Savulescu (Oxford University) and Professor John Harris (Manchester University) to demonstrate that not only was modafinil safe and effective but that:
(a) Including it in the public water supply was essentially no different from the current system of compulsory education since the primary effect of the drug was to improve human cognitive functioning (John Harris’s testimony).
(b) It was imperative for the government to take initiatives like this to ensure that humans were smart enough to deal with the technological and ecological disasters that are coming the future (Julian Savulescu’s testimony).
You are the judge in this case. You have to decide whether the government’s policy is constitutional or not.