My Body is a Temple

I’m quite squeamish. Have been ever since a nurse removed a drip from my arm and…urgh. I’m squirming at even the memory.

Whether it’s squeamishness or just a desire to protect the perfection of my Adonis-like form (maintained through a strict ‘Francophile’ diet, i.e. lots of butter in everything), I have never been partial to any form of body alteration. Piercings and tattoos have never appealed, much to the disappointment of my mother. She is unique amongst the parents I have come across, having suggested that as a teenager I might want to grow my hair and get my ears pierced, while I was quite content to remain looking clean-cut.

But in the none too distant future, I fear I may have to overcome my squeamishness, and consider some form of body alteration. Not cosmetic, but medical, or even recreational.

Don’t get any funny ideas. I’m not talking about any form of sexual enhancement. Perhaps something like an in-built blood monitor that constantly tests for anomalies and updates you or even your doctor. No more screening programmes for any known disease. We would all have our own personal screening programmes built in.

Now deciding how the data from that device was collected, and who it went to, would be key in overcoming any ‘big brother’ objections. Take the ‘pay as you drive’ road tax being considered. There is every chance the devices to track your journeys could be fitted, and monitored, by private organisations. And they don’t have a great track record on protecting personal data. Imagine if you’re in-body sensor was fitted, and monitored by GlaxoSmithKline or one of the other ‘big pharma’ companies. Would you be happy to trade that level of personal information for your health?

But that’s a side issue. What I and others will need to overcome is the thought of having something implanted in my body that’s not supposed to be there. That isn’t made from the same DNA as the rest of me.

For most people there will probably be a sliding scale of the value of the implant against whether or not they will allow it. The magic medical screening box? I’d probably go for that. A Head-Up Display implanted in my eyeball? Maybe. Especially if it gave me X-ray vision or something cool like that. A mobile phone in my skull? Maybe not.

This post forms part of my Future Human series. For more posts on this subject, visit the Future Human page.

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Tom Cheesewright