Here’s a big question: If your cells were used to grow an organ in the lab, is it still “your” organ?
On Monday afternoon, TED Fellow Nina Tandon (watch her TEDTalk) asked the TED community to weigh in on the question in a Live Q&A, and the conversation hit on some central themes of identity.
The entire Q&A is worth a browse (as is the raging Facebook thread); here’s just one highlight, as TED Fellow Dominic Muren poses a provocative question of his own:
OK, Nina, most people have been responding to the “What if you grew an organ” question, and I think that’s interesting. But I’m more interested in other products. For example: An artist team has been making bone wedding rings using actual bone cells from the couple. How does ownership work in this case? Cells make lots of great materials that makers could use — horn, nails, teeth, hair, shell. If these are made from cultures obtained from people, how does the ownership work?
Here’s another answer of note:
That cell is not mine, it’s Life … or Creative Commons, if you wish 🙂