Regain Back the Control of Your Body
by DanyStefan on April 14, 2016 - 10:04pm
Microchip implants in the human body were reported to be practised as far back as 1998 by Kevin Warwick, a British scientist ("Microchip Implants Closer to Reality"). Also known as an identifying integrated circuit device or RFID, it consists of a CPU in a silicate glass that is implanted in the human body to reactivate malfunctioning nerves. This CPU is connected to external data bases which contain any medical history of the patient ("Microchip Implants Closer to Reality"). These RFIDs have to ability to give back motion and feelings to members of the body that were once paralysed (“Microchip implant (human)”).
Ian Burkhart, in his first year of college at the time, dove once into the ocean water five years ago on a beach close to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Thus diving into a wave, Burkhart hit his head against the bottom and broke his neck resulting in the lose of feeling in both his hands and legs. Because of his spinal injury, Ian Burkhart accepted to receive surgery, two years ago, in his brain. The surgery consisted of implanting a microchip that gave him back the ability to control his right hand. This technology is able to transmit his thoughts to the muscles in his fingers and his hand. On April 13, while siting in a lab connected to a computer through a sleeve on his arm, Mr. Burkhart was able to learn how to control his thoughts and direct them to move his hand. Through repetition and practise, he was able to make his hand pour from a bottle, to pick a straw and to play a video game called “Guitar Hero” which consisted of pressing down on a series of buttons according to what showed up on a screen (Carey).
A scientific worldview, in the field of neuro science, suggests that RFID are a great advancement in bringing machine together with humans. Machines are now able to analyse human thoughts which trigger mechanical movements done by the machine. Doctors say that this technology is not a direct cure for paralysis, but an advancement to independently move members of your body for people with quadriplegia (Carey). This technological advancement provides more independence to people that lost their ability to feel and move certain body parts (“Microchip implant (human)”).
Because Ian Burkhart had to go through brain surgery, members of his family did not agree with it because, according to them, the payoff wasn’t significant enough to risk Ian’s life. Following surgery, Ian had to recover and practise extensively to be able to control his now moving hand. His father was against the idea of his son getting this implant because of the total time it took to complete the procedure (Carey).
In conclusion, although implanting microchips in a human body is a tedious and time consuming process, the finished product of such an extensive surgery can save one suffering from paralysis that never though of moving his hands or legs ever again (Carey). RFIDs are a great advancement for science and bring closer humans and machines (“Microchip implant (human)”). As Ian’s father said, “He was doing it for the general good, to move the science along.” (Carey). However, is it worth risking your life in a surgery for the sake of science?
Carey, Benedict. “Chip, Implanted in Brain, Helps Paralysed Man Regain Control of Hand.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 13 April 2016. Web. 14 April 2016.
“Microchip implant (human).” Wikipedia. MediaWiki, 13 April 2016. Web. 14 April 2016.
"Microchip Implants Closer to Reality." The Futurist 33.8 (1999): 9. ProQuest. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.