Bionic Implants

Over one million humans struggle with brain injuries and diseases that make life very difficult. 

Luckily, surgeons can help people with brain injuries by placing small machines and electricity near or even inside their brains – and in some cases chips can be connected to computers which aren’t even attached to the body!

But some people are concerned about things could go wrong, after all brains do more than just move us around, they make us – well, us!

If you start relying on computers then when they go wrong what are you left with? An empty brain.


For most people, if they were getting any sort of device in their brain, they’d want someone to explain exactly how it worked and the likelihood of things going wrong.

If you are having any sort of surgery, it’s important you understand all the risks.

Most people would agree that having control over your own body is very important. It just gets a bit complicated if you’re very poorly or injured and you can’t say what you want.

And what limits the enhancements we make to our brains?

Soon we might be able to create chips that would allow us to play games in our heads, record dreams or learn stuff off the internet without having to pick up a book!

But would that be fair if you were sat in an exam and everyone else had a bionic brain and you had the normal squishy type?

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
Click here to find out more!