Lab-built body parts are on the rise because organ donors are in short supply. Plus drugs aren’t needed to avoid rejection of a body part implant, if the stem cells are taken from the recipient’s own body. Next on the agenda is growing a larynx and bile ducts. Scientists hope to eventually grow an entire human heart. They have already built a rat heart and used a pacemaker to keep it beating. In 10 years the first human heart transplant, manufactured from stem cells, is expected.
Then? Can Frankenstein be far behind? Kidding aside, there’s no reason such research should be hindered if it can relieve suffering and prolong life. God has given us great potential to improve the human condition and alleviate pain and bodily limitations; but somewhere along the way ethical and moral guidelines must be established. Humans have shown not only the capacity for great accomplishments to benefit all mankind, but also the ability to be undeniably destructive. Think Nagasaki or Buchenwald. Organ manufacturing is just one more reason for society to return to a biblical foundation for every component of culture. Without some boundaries on human ingenuity, established by God’s Word, the future is increasingly frightening.
A report surfaced last weekend about the ability to use stem cells to manufacture organ replacements in the human body. This is truly scary and hopeful at the same time. So far researches have grown a bladder, windpipe, ear, tear duct, and even a nose. Several cardiovascular parts are also being grown as needed for artery bypass surgery, without having to take veins for example, from other parts of the body. The hope is that eventually whatever part of the body is needed can be culled from cadavers or grown form an individual’s own stem cells. That’s a small step for a human but a huge leap for humanity.