How Will Tissue Engineering Affect Our Future?

In my previous vlog post I discussed what exactly tissue engineering was and to recap it is the recreation of organs through cultured tissue. This new technology in the health care industry is a huge advancement and will eventually save millions of people’s lives. This post is going to discuss an overview of the social implications of tissue engineering.
Let’s say that we eventually bring tissue engineering into a part of everyday medical practices, this will then result in an aging society. But is a society that could potentially “live forever” harming the natural flow of the Earth? Or are the practices of tissue engineering going to become extremely expensive which would result in only a small percent of people receiving the gift of endless life. Now think of it one of your parents suffers a major heart attack and are put on life support until they are next in line for a heart transplant. Organ transplants have long lists of names that make the waiting process seem to take forever. You wait and wait for a call saying that someone died and they are organ donors with no trauma to their heart. With tissue engineering this scenario becomes extinct because now doctors can recreate organs with our own tissue cells in a Petri-dish and then use these organs to replace our existing ones. No more waiting for an organ transplant like I stated in my previous vlog.
In the article Legal, Ethical Limits to Bioengineering Debated that was posted in the Harvard News Law school dean Kagan states that “biotechnology raises hopes for dramatic improvements but, on the other hand biotechnology raises fears of a Brave New World.” What would life be like in this “new world?” One question that comes up is if biotechnology is going to be used only to cure people that are suffering from illness or to actually “enhance people.” She states that “there is a fine line between the two.” As of now tissue engineering’s goal is to eliminate the need for a random organ donors and instead to be able to create organs from that persons own tissue. But what if one day people start to use tissue engineering for their own personal benefit for example how plastic surgery is used today than society is going to in for a wild ride. These new enhancements will allow people to ultimately live forever, and with forever creates the first of many social implications.

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