June 6, 2010

Roger Clarke: Cyborg rights 'need debating now'

Australian prof Roger Clarke says that cyborg rights need to be debated now; Cyborgs are alive and well today and asserting their rights, presenting society with a challenge that needs to be met head on:
Dr Clarke says as cyborgisation is increasingly used in the medical arena, people may expect they have the right to have technology that keeps them alive.

"They may also want the right to have the technology removed when they want to die", he said.

In summary, says Dr Clarke, cyborgisation of humans is leading to a plethora of questions about human rights.

"People who are using prostheses to recover lost capabilities will seek to protect their existing rights. People who have lost capabilities but have not yet got the relevant prostheses will seek the right to have them," Dr Clark said.

"Enhanced humans will seek additional rights to go with the additional capabilities that they have."

Dr Clarke says engineers and others who develop these new technologies have an obligation to brief political, social and economic institutions on their implications.

"They have to date signally failed to do so, and urgent action is needed," Dr Clarke said.

"The need for policymakers to wake up to themselves and get debating things is becoming more acute."

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