Building a Bionic Woman
I recently saw an app, How to Build a Bionic Man, and thought I would see what it would take to "bionicise" myself.
Now, you might think I would have replaced everything. I could replace everything from my head to my toes and the blood flowing in between, but I found myself drawn to what actually needed replacing. I was born with amblyopia in my left eye. My lazy eye, as it is referred to by the lay person, has me about 80 percent blind in that eye. And because my loss of vision is so extreme, I have worn glasses to correct the mild loss of vision in my right eye and to protect both eyes from damage since I was a teenager.
As one ophthalmologist told me, "All it is going to take is one bad blow to your good eye and you could be blind forever." So you will rarely see me without my glasses on!
So, let's apply the new directives to my new eye. I have received all my implant cards that were required and every new European Commission directive has been followed. All is right with my new left eye.
However, did I really need the replacement? I can function with my eyes as they are: I drive, work, etc. If this ability to replace my eyes was a reality, would I do it?
Should I do it?
What are the ethical considerations of my new eye?
Our industry is facing many changes as we move toward being more patient-centric while creating regulations that will make those devices consistent and safe across country lines. Now, me being implanted with a bionic eye is still a bit more science fiction than truth. However, it did get me thinking about ethical standards. And while I realize who gets implanted with the devices we design and package is not our job, I think we can offer some valuable insight out of our expertise.
Are we forgetting to discuss the ethics of the new medical device directives? What issues are you seeing that are not being discussed?
Stephanie Wiseman, Community Editor, UBM