Science has improved its analytical and peripheral boundaries to the point of understanding even those matters considered taboo and beyond comprehension. It has transcended the limits and it may even breach the unknown and undiscovered territories. Of late, it has already understood the minutest details that define life, the molecules, particles and atoms that made life possible. The only missing component is not an appreciation of the scientific treatise in furthering that which animates existence but the technical bravura in exploring, however brutal, on how life should be built.
In various laboratories, we find countless experimentation. Mice, insects, rabbits, dogs, monkeys, name it, their innards are all studied meticulously and data counter checked with that which pertains human parts. Response of various living things on a specific stimulation is also tested as against that which affects a human being. Almost every conceivable test has been explored. There are those that do not merit ethics and there are those too sensitive to divulge. Nonetheless the road to extensive discovery is filled to the brim. The future is overflowing with hope and possibilities. Life as we know it today could mean another form of existence in the forthcoming period.
I have as yet to verify however if there are attempts in altering life. There were successful experiments done on plants and it was some kind of a novelty.
I have to check whether these cacti’s lifespan has been changed though. But from the looks of it, life can be altered according to one’s specification. And if this can be done on plants, I think it could also be conducted on a human being. There are even laboratory research where DNA can be studied in detail and revised accordingly to suit one’s preference. Of late, DNA tests suggest a revelation on future physical predisposition of those who posess a set of genes and his proclivities. From there the next step could only border on speculation. This situation can only be expressed however in films, in sci-fi novels and it is still within the realm of imagination.
There were notable experiments done during the war carried out by the scientific community, exploring on man’s body parts. Medics of invading army on the guise of treating injured persons would pluck out from these ailing subjects, especially those arrested suspects to pluck out their parts, inter changed it and then observed. Livers, heart, internal organs, skin, eyes, extremities (even hair follicles) all were tugged and pulled out, yanked and tweaked if only to check whether it was medically possible to transplant body parts. There were successful medical cases which has been concluded and highlighted in medical and scientific journals.
There was a time when the most delicate has been conducted already, that of heart transplant. Now it is common place. Another is open heart surgery where veins are used to replace ruined arteries in the heart or in such cases like cardiac catheterization. And there are also kidney and liver transplants. Science even went further by growing earlobes and noses in the laboratory using disks, cells and other chemicals and then re-attached it on the body where it is needed.
Science is only a few years away from achieving the unthinkable—that of transplanting the entire body parts of a person into another thus saving and extending his life to achieve more years. Parts may be grown in a laboratory flask, or on the person himself or through cloning and stem cell procedures. This may take a little complicated scientific journey but this could be done. The short cut and the most expedient may also be available by tapping the potential of the prison community.
Not that I am advocating the reduction on piece meal basis the body parts of prisoners but it is the most accessible in terms of sourcing. This would border on horror and human rights transgressions if not properly conveyed but let us discuss the merits for scientific purposes. If we cannot conceive of any plan to abolish imprisonment and replace it with alternative penal sanctions like community service and the like, we might as well look into how we can tap the vast resources of warm bodies deteriorating under the glaring tension of years under incarceration.
Most offenders are sentenced to serve time for several years under tormenting schedule and afflictive situation. Prolonged incarceration has a toll on the respiratory, nervous, digestive system of the person. Imprisonment is one factor that could ruin and send a person to a debilitating circumstance. Notwithstanding welfare provisions in the matter of treating prisoners humanely, the fact that his freedom is curtailed, his movements contained and even thought processes controlled, are enough to obliterate inhumanely whatever it is that makes the human body the temple it ought to be. There must be some kind of a divine justice somewhere using certain equation.
If there is one offender for every one thousand law abiding citizens, I would even venture to say that there is also one mortally sick person for every one thousand healthy individuals. Following this logic, I hope I am wrong, the prisoner can therefore through his body part contribute to that ailing law abiding citizen’s salvation. This has been the usual tact why some time ago, a group of foreigners representing their principal sought medical intervention through procurement of body parts from prisoners. This practise was banned eventually. Furthermore, there was a small town in a remote barrio where this has been a routine, until there was saturation. Most of those in the town had surgical marks on their torso indicating medical procedure for organ donation.
This is not a treatise on organ donation but rather a call for calibrated study to explore the possibility of tapping the prison community, that wing where prisoners are given a gross penalty for prolonged sentences to ameliorate their sins through anatomical contribution. Their respective prison terms would nonetheless devastate their bodies just the same notwithstanding years of rationed and government supported maintenance.
Science may one day surprise us with a medical bulletin that it can replace mechanically the entire body organs of one person thus leaving his brain to subsist and contribute wisdom for years and years to come. And while prisoners may be considered as vile and bane, a dark spot in humanity, it can also be that beacon of light which hold the key to a bright future.