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3D Printed Organs – Who Deserves Them?

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Since the possibility of creating organic tissue and working human organs was made possible through the 3D printing revolution, there has been a continuous debate over how ethical such science really is. Some of the questions revolving around this technology were listed by the Research Director at Gartner, Pete Basilliere in an article by The Telegraph earlier this year:

“What happens when complex ‘enhanced’ organs involving non-human cells are made? Who will control the ability to produce them? Who will ensure the quality of the resulting organs?”

Who would be able to sensibly answer some of these questions anyway? It is no secret that distrust exists between the public and pharmaceutical companies, and the bodies that are supposed to govern them (FDA). Who would really be in charge of producing and distributing these organs?

Another question I’ve been thinking about lately is who would or would not be eligible for “printed” organs? Suppose in the next 20 years this technology becomes the norm. Would inmates also be included to receive such healthcare, or would they not be deemed worthy members of society. It’s already largely debated whether prison inmates should be allowed to become organ donors or not, so how would the general public react to them receiving full organs?

As this technology grows, the debate will undoubtedly continue. What are your thoughts on the matter? Feel free to comment on this article or on our Twitter page!

One thought on “3D Printed Organs – Who Deserves Them?

  1. I don’t think there are as many ethical issues when something so great can be achieved. Looking at the small picture hampering the greater one is unrealistic. The way 3d printing is coming to light, they are making products faster and cheaper then anything else. By the time they can ‘print’ human transplant-able organs, i dont think cost will be the issue. Prisoners are in prison for a reason, but if the technology holds true, I dont even think that would be an ethical issue because there would be sufficient supply for everyone alive.

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