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Is it ethical?

maquiscat

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So nowadays we are seeing such great advances in prosthetics. Digitally printing hand and other prosthetics and they work almost S good as the real thing. We do this for for those who have lost limbs. But can we take it further? If we have someone who still has, say his arm. But it is deformed and/or not working right. Is it ethical to amputate that arm and replace it with a prosthetic that works better than his current arm?

Added: my husband thought of another real scenario. We have a friend who has bone cancer. Every time they go in to remove it he has to undergo several month of therapy and then 5-8 years he has to go in and redo everything. They have to replace the bone entirely each time. Would it be ethical to amputate the leg below the knee and fit him with a prosthetic? With one of those he would only have to have it readjusted every 4-5 years with only a couple of hours therapy to get accustomed to the new adjustment. It would also cost less than any one surgery.
 
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_Sal

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So nowadays we are seeing such great advances in prosthetics. Digitally printing hand and other prosthetics and they work almost S good as the real thing. We do this for for those who have lost limbs. But can we take it further? If we have someone who still has, say his arm. But it is deformed and/or not working right. Is it ethical to amputate that arm and replace it with a prosthetic that works better than his current arm?

to me there is no ethical/unethical opinion involved

it's not up to us to judge what another may choose to do with their limb if they feel it would be better for them and their world to replace it
 

Paleocon

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So nowadays we are seeing such great advances in prosthetics. Digitally printing hand and other prosthetics and they work almost S good as the real thing. We do this for for those who have lost limbs. But can we take it further? If we have someone who still has, say his arm. But it is deformed and/or not working right. Is it ethical to amputate that arm and replace it with a prosthetic that works better than his current arm?

Added: my husband thought of another real scenario. We have a friend who has bone cancer. Every time they go in to remove it he has to undergo several month of therapy and then 5-8 years he has to go in and redo everything. They have to replace the bone entirely each time. Would it be ethical to amputate the leg below the knee and fit him with a prosthetic? With one of those he would only have to have it readjusted every 4-5 years with only a couple of hours therapy to get accustomed to the new adjustment. It would also cost less than any one surgery.

Scenario 1: No. One may only amputate a malignant organ.

Scenario 2: Yes. One may amputate a malignant organ. Without some form of treatment, that leg would kill him.
 

PirateMk1

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So nowadays we are seeing such great advances in prosthetics. Digitally printing hand and other prosthetics and they work almost S good as the real thing. We do this for for those who have lost limbs. But can we take it further? If we have someone who still has, say his arm. But it is deformed and/or not working right. Is it ethical to amputate that arm and replace it with a prosthetic that works better than his current arm?

Added: my husband thought of another real scenario. We have a friend who has bone cancer. Every time they go in to remove it he has to undergo several month of therapy and then 5-8 years he has to go in and redo everything. They have to replace the bone entirely each time. Would it be ethical to amputate the leg below the knee and fit him with a prosthetic? With one of those he would only have to have it readjusted every 4-5 years with only a couple of hours therapy to get accustomed to the new adjustment. It would also cost less than any one surgery.

I consider it ethical even if the appendage or part were perfectly fine and all someone wanted to do was increase performance modify their looks ect. Hell if they wanted to transplant their brain into a jar, it's their business and none of mine.
 

code1211

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So nowadays we are seeing such great advances in prosthetics. Digitally printing hand and other prosthetics and they work almost S good as the real thing. We do this for for those who have lost limbs. But can we take it further? If we have someone who still has, say his arm. But it is deformed and/or not working right. Is it ethical to amputate that arm and replace it with a prosthetic that works better than his current arm?

Added: my husband thought of another real scenario. We have a friend who has bone cancer. Every time they go in to remove it he has to undergo several month of therapy and then 5-8 years he has to go in and redo everything. They have to replace the bone entirely each time. Would it be ethical to amputate the leg below the knee and fit him with a prosthetic? With one of those he would only have to have it readjusted every 4-5 years with only a couple of hours therapy to get accustomed to the new adjustment. It would also cost less than any one surgery.

Especially in the case you describe where the suffering is reduced, this sounds not only ethical, but wise.

I'm very much a straight line thinker on these things, though. I'm sure that there are various things I have not considered.
 

DiAnna

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As long as the patient consents to the procedure, is not found to have a significant mental defect that could adversely affect informed consent, and the patient's physician believed there would be a medical benefit to the procedure, then there is nothing whatsoever unethical about it.

Also, it's nobody's business but the patient's, the patient's family, and the patient's physician, despite the public's gossip-mongering voracity for getting into everyone else's business and trying to legislate their private medical decisions.
 

Hari Seldon

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I consider it ethical even if the appendage or part were perfectly fine and all someone wanted to do was increase performance modify their looks ect. Hell if they wanted to transplant their brain into a jar, it's their business and none of mine.

You ever read Heinlein? I forget the novel but it had sex changes as a normal part of living. Changing every so often.
 

maquiscat

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You ever read Heinlein? I forget the novel but it had sex changes as a normal part of living. Changing every so often.

Was it one of Heinlein's stories where the proceedure was so complete that a guy ended up being his own mother and father via time travel?
 

Northern Light

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Are the prosthetics which are available to the general public really that good yet? If we're talking about some future cybernetic civilization where bio and tech are interchangeable, then sure. For the time being, I understand why people fight to keep their limbs. Most of the biotech I've seen on science websites is still inferior to the genuine article, but it's for sure getting impressive.
 

Hari Seldon

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Was it one of Heinlein's stories where the proceedure was so complete that a guy ended up being his own mother and father via time travel?

I think it was Friday, but its been a while since I groked anything.
 

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I see no problem with either scenario. If the doctors believe it will improve quality of life then what is the problem?
 

maquiscat

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I think it was Friday, but its been a while since I groked anything.

No it wasn't Friday (my first Heinlein book BTW), it was a short story and someone actually made a movie out of it. Watched in on Netflix or something last year. Just couldn't remember if it was Heinlein's story or not.
 

spud_meister

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Given my favourite anime is Ghost in the Shell, I think so long as elective limb replacement is an enhancement, it's ethical.
 

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You ever read Heinlein? I forget the novel but it had sex changes as a normal part of living. Changing every so often.

I once read a novel where humans would transform themselves into dolphins or eagles or a some other fantastical entity.
 

jaeger19

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Its ethical as long as its to improve the patients well being. In fact its already done all the time.

In fact, we are lucky that we live in a country in which the patient is given a choice. I recently had a patient that had his foot and leg almost tore off. Multiple surgeries were done to try to save the foot and leg. the leg ended up fine but the foot never would heal completely. Multiple debridements, wound care.. for over 2 years the patient tried to save his foot and leg.

Finally he decided that he wanted it off and have a prosthetic. so the leg was taken below the knee and he was fitted with a prosthetic. now he is back to work and snowboarding.

Now another patient had her leg almost tore off. Fractures at the tibia, fibula, femur, talus, calcaneus. She underwent multiple operations over the years to keep the leg. Femur rods twice, an eventual total knee, and then a replacement as she broke the stem of the implant.

Know she is back to working, able to kneel in church etc.. ...

She has ended up having more function than if they had done what they planned at the beginning, which was to make her an above knee amputee.
 
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