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The first Hopkins-Oxford Psychedelic Ethics (HOPE) workshop convened to discuss ethical matters relating to psychedelics in August of 2023 at the University of Oxford. The organizers (BDE, DBY, EJ) aimed for a diversity of participant backgrounds and perspectives. The keynotes were given by an Indigenous scholar and a psychiatrist; other attendees included lawyers and ethicists, psychedelic scientists, anthropologists, philosophers, entrepreneurs and harm reduction actors. The workshop was organized out of a recognition that the field of psychedelics is at a pivotal point in its history: research, clinical applications, and policy initiatives are quickly scaling up. The use of psychedelics is expanding, and the development of new systems governing their use is already underway. These changes are happening while substantial uncertainty remains, both about the effects of psychedelics and about the ethical dimensions surrounding their use. We recognize that there is a significant risk of harms as well as potential benefits. Participants at the workshop discussed the ethical aspects of psychedelics, including research methods, clinical practices, history, law and society, spirituality, community, culture and politics that arise in relation to psychedelics. Despite the value of these discussions, the group remains mindful that relatively few voices could be included compared to the scope of those thinking about psychedelics, and those who will be impacted by psychedelics in the coming years. Participants resolved that improving outcomes will require us to make special efforts to further increase the diversity of participant perspectives and backgrounds at future events, including patients and users (not only those who have been benefited by psychedelics, but also those who have been harmed), biopharmaceutical companies, Indigenous communities with established histories of psychedelic use, and law and policy makers. Workshop participants discussed a draft of the current document. This document is intended to summarize our shared understanding of some of the central ethical considerations relating to psychedelics and a few recommendations to the field. Of course, on some points, there is no consensus yet, and there may never be. Further, there are matters on which the group was agnostic, matters which split the room, and matters which we agreed required more evidence and more discussion between the full breadth of stakeholders. Nonetheless, the signatories endorse the sentiments below and believe they are worth conveying to the field at large. More broadly, we hope that this statement is a useful contribution: to those who work with, research, or use psychedelics, as well as anyone interested in the field.

Original publication




Journal article


American Journal of Bioethics


Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Publication Date