Presentation on theme: "Ethical Considerations Maria-Stella Portelli. Articial organs: Human-made devices designed to replace, duplicate, or augment, functionally or cosmetically,"— Presentation transcript:
Ethical Considerations Maria-Stella Portelli
Articial organs: Human-made devices designed to replace, duplicate, or augment, functionally or cosmetically, a missing, diseased, or otherwise incompetent part of the body, either temporarily or permanently, and which require a non-biologic material interface with living tissue. Bioarticial organ: Device combining living elements (organelles, cells, or tissues) with synthetic materials in a therapeutic system. Implant: Any biomaterial or device which is actually embedded within the tissues of a living organism Prosthesis: An articial device to replace a missing part of the body. Ref: Prostheses and Articial Organs by Galletti and Nerem (2000)
Prolong life Improve quality of life Replaces the use of heart/lung/kidney machines Availability of organs for donation Avoid xenotransplantation
Doctors discovered a golf-ball-size tumour growing into Mr Beyenes windpipe. Despite surgery and radiation, it kept growing. The doctor, Paolo Macchiarini, at the Karolinska Institute had a radical idea. He wanted to make Beyene a new windpipe, out of plastic and his own cells. Implanting such a bio-artificial organ would be a first-of-its-kind procedure for the field of regenerative medicine, which for decades has been promising a future of ready- made replacement organs - livers, kidneys, even hearts - built in the laboratory. In Beyenes case, an exact copy of his windpipe was made from a porous, fibrous plastic, which was then seeded with stem cells harvested from his bone marrow. After just a day and a half in a bioreactor - a kind of incubator in which the windpipe was spun, in a nutrient solution - the implant was stitched into Beyene, replacing his cancerous windpipe. Fifteen months after the groundbreaking surgery, Beyene, 39, is tumor-free and breathing normally.
Could there be a time in which artificial organs could be better than the bodys own natural ones? - Hardly break down - Do not age - Not struck by disease Are we creating some sort of superhuman?
Issues of identity (superiority/inferiority complex) Till what percentage can your body be replaced by artificial devices? Would a cyborg still be an autonomous person?
To what extent should we try to lengthen the life span of humans? How should such goal be balanced against the goal of improving the quality of human life
Increasing the division between the rich and the poor
We would be messing around with personality, feeling, emotions, reasoning, memory, decision making … Could cyborgs be morally responsible for their behaviour when their brain has been engineered by others so as to function in a particular way? Should artificial devices that allow humans to have superior perception, cognition, motor control or positive moods and attitudes be allowed? The idea of brain dead – would we be resurrecting the dead?