Friday, 12 March 2010

Medicine or Modification?

Biotechnology is advancing at significant speed. There is plenty of scope for helping people who are blighted by disease or disability through new technology. New and better prosthetics are on the cards as are other means of helping people move, see, hear, or talk to others. However it will soon be a case of getting into the greyer area of whether we are fixing problems that people have or simply enhancing what people lack.

Society will need to make decisions which were previously unnecessary; decisions such as which body parts should be replaced and which should not. Does society want some people to have super-human power, while others do not. Brain implants will be possible. Will that change who a person is and what they can be held responsible for? When do we judge people to be human or simply a machine with some human characteristics? Personal enhancement may be much more than just cosmetic surgery in future. Some employers may want to enhance their employees to allow them to perform better. There will be a new way to categorise people as haves and have nots.

1 comment:

James McGinty said...

My biggest concern is that if humans are routinely enhanced, there will be no need for indivuals to strive for excellence. If mediocrity becomes the standard than society vould well be in trouble.