an early period of this year (2019), there have been many successes in finding efficient processes for the production of bioartificial human organs. As we have reached a point in time where such bioartificial organs are stable and optimal for most human organisms, we can start to actually find ways to produce them whilst maintaining an ethical principle. This idea has a great benefit for those that are on mental suffering and waiting on the transplant list for organs in order to save their own lives.
There are many innovations being worked on when it comes to the process of producing these organs, such as using specialized 3D printers with a special liquid that is similar to human tissue. Another example is using other living organisms to actually grow organs that can be used in a human organism.
Within this process I believe no matter if it is considered to be ethical or not it will inevitably happen because of the vast financial gain that is promised with such an innovation.
It is in a way just like the situation of the head transplant that was supposed to take place in 2018. The technology is here, however, the media, as well as the School of Medicine, emphasized the unethical behavior of this operation. To this, I say that there is no way that you or anyone in this world could stop the evolution of technology even for a second.
At some point in this world, we will reach the possibility of creating or better yet said crafting immortal humans.
With this topic at hand, there are many questions to be asked but I believe that first we should state or resolve the possibility of such action.
So, will organs be mass-produced in the near future?
Yes! Just as the pharmaceutical companies which are selling drugs that harm the patients more than doing any well so will other evil companies be born to literally sell life to people. There is no reason to even question the massive potential for financial gain and I believe this is the point where we need to emphasize how ethic will this business be.
Huge corporations that are hungry for financial gain will jump on the idea as soon as a patent is available. Just as a funeral service will always be a demand so will organs for those in need. Therefore they will find a way to actually go through with this.
Many people think that we are very far away from the technology that is presented within certain Sci-fi movies however the truth is that we are not. The major problem is that actually producing such technology right now is extremely inefficient because of the extensive resources we actually have to invest in building the flying car or other futuristic things represented in Sci-fi movies.
This is why we need to wait until we find an effective as well as efficient way to produce such technology. Well in the case of organs I think that we are very close. Xiaohong Wang from the department of tissue engineering in China medical school has shown in his article Bioartificial Organ Manufacturing Technologies technical procedures of actually manufacturing human organs such as the heart or liver.
It is imperative to take into consideration that this article has been written in 2018 so I do believe since then humanity has taken many innovative steps toward the efficiency and functionality of bioartificial organ production. Therefore justifying that mass production can also be possible as well as efficient, however, at this point we need to raise a different type of question.
Do all Surgeons approve of bioartificial organs?
Most of them yes according to Zorina Pitkin who has stated in her article New Phase of Growth for Xenogeneic-Based Bioartificial Organs surgeons and doctors, in general, are having the hardship to see so many patients die from the lack of available organs for transplant. At the same time most of them if not all are science people therefore, they will approve of it as being for the greater good.
There are a few medical schools around the world that tend to have a more traditional vision so they see bioartificial organs as unorthodox because they argue that it is not an optimal replacement however, there have been so many tests proving the optimization of the different types of materials that replicate the tissue of a human organism. It has the ability to bleed and heal; therefore, from a biological point of view, it is certainly identical to our own tissue.
One advantage that is offered by bioartificial organs is the ease of reanimating the organ once connected to the body. As the organ hasn’t been harvested from a dinner, there is no need to insure a special regime until the surgery for the patient to receive the organ nor practice to prepare the organ for the new organism it will inhabit.
Another major advantage is that there is no need to worry if a certain organ will be compatible with the organism of the patient. With organ transplants and especially hearts there are many tests that need to be done before the actual operation is conducted to make sure that the patient’s organism will accept the new organ.
As we have also confirmed the approval of medics what is left is to see if the world thinks of this as ethical action so here comes the question.
Is the mass-production of bioartificial organs considered as ethical behavior?
This is where things are quite complicated because of two main points. First of all, how do you define what is ethical and what isn’t? You are not able to because our own ethics are influenced by our culture. In some parts of the world what may be unethical to you can be the common behavior. Therefore we can assume that the views are pretty much neutral. Many views on this topic are also influenced by the religious views of a person. As mentioned before, this is quite unethical behavior based on the view of most religions. However, from a more scientific point of view, it is actually a breakthrough.
The second point is that many can look at this as not really an ethical problem because at the end of the day, you are saving a person’s life who would have otherwise died without the existence of bioartificial organs. To me what will seem most unethical is not necessarily the practice of mass-producing bioartificial organs but the high prices are going to be set by those evil biomedical corporations as they cannot clench their thirst for financial gain.
But at the end of the day, you cannot really put a price on life.