Artificial Limbs


Artificial limbs are great for helping the elderly or the injured.

They help people without hands to pick things up, and help people without legs to get about and even run – like you might have seen in the Paralympics!

But what if technology gets so amazingly advanced that artificial limbs allow you to run faster than a typical athlete?

Would it be fair to put them in a race against anyone who hasn’t got them or would that mean they could only run against other super-fast blade runners?

What if your artificial leg could carry additional technology like the internet or even weapons?

What if babies could have their legs replaced with artificial limbs when they were born?

What if the legs meant no one would ever get tired, and old people wouldn’t need walking sticks?

And who decides who gets these bionic upgrades?

There’s a lot to thing about and it shows that if we don’t think carefully about things then there’s a chance we can get things turning out in a way we don’t want.

It takes a bit of thought to really work out how we can best use the science and technology at our disposal to make sure it’s fair and in the best interests of everyone.

Click here for more bioethical dilemmas!


Nuffield CouncilBene and Mal’s Bioethics series with support from Nuffield Council on Bioethics
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