Who or what in charge?
Being a smart person is no longer depends on you, but an option in near future. In 2014, federal government estimated budget of education bill is about 141 billion dollars. Pratt Institute annual tuition fee is about $ 65,000 including housing. However, people don’t have to worry about investing such a significant amount of money anymore. Deep Brain stimulation is a procedure, which is used for Perkins disease, Alzheimer disease, and depression. A needle is gone through your skull, and stimulates an electronic pulse on a specific cortex of the brain, that does not function. This electronic pulse not only wakes the dead parts of the brain, but it also recovers them gradually over time. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) cures some of the disease that current surgical or medical treatment can not, it is also lesser side effect than other current procedure. However, there are risks like surgical error, side effect of the after operation, and possible unknown side effect that hasn’t happened. Not only that, the procedure is too miraculous and potential use for commercial that consumers might misuse (abuse) the technology to their benefit. Finally this technology might occurs to prison our freedom. Many questions of DBS effect haven’t been answered yet. If you could control your brain 100% through a machine, would we call ourselves a machine instead of human? Does this machine control your mind or are you controlling your mind, when you are controlling DBS. DBS is a great tool, but it could be a very dangerous machine to our society both sociologically and physically.
An ordinary nine-year-old boy suffered from Dystonia, which most cases, children can not be survived from that. The boy’s symptom were twisting his right foot to left foot, and his entire body was twisted gradually and progressively. At the end, he couldn’t move without crawling his belly on the ground. The disease wasn’t been responded to any medical treatment, and there wasn’t specific surgical operation could affect on this disease. Yet, Deep brain stimulation procedure miraculously worked on the boy’s body that he could walk around the hospital at his third month of DBS treatment (Lozano). According to Brookshire, Bethany, PHD, a biomedical researcher, explains that there were 4 out of the 10 depression patients didn’t have any other hope, because the these 40% ratio of the antidepressant procedures like Pharmacotherapies, cognitive behavior therapy, and ETC have been failing to cure the patients in current technology. Additionally, Psychiatry doesn’t refer to ‘cure’ when the patients get back their normal life, but Psychiatry call this “remission” in terms. Again, the patients who aren’t been worked with current antidepressants are hopeless cases until the Deep Brain Stimulation shows a chance, although brain surgery is a risk (Brookshire). But, this miraculous treatment couldn’t be the solution for now, because the treatment academic research field is not solidly proved. Also, because of it’s a new treatment, we still have long way to analyze showing the balance between the risk and the benefit.
According to the Paul Larson, MD, at the Parkinson’s disease conference on UCSF Parkinson’s Disease Clinic & Research Center at Jan 2012, there are several risks of the DBS. Firstly, due to inserting DBS through a brain, a medical surgeon cannot see inside the brain with with his eyes, so the surgeon needs to estimates the location of the DBS in the brain based on the reactions of the brain electronic purse pick up sounds and MR. So, the surgeon could approach DBS between the blood vessels to the object. However, there are different sized blood vessels in the brain, and sometimes surgeon cannot identify the tiny lines comparing big ones, which you could identify through a monitor. The blood vessel could be broken then the bleeding could be occurred by the mis-operation. It’s not a happiness moment after your surgery has been finished. DBS in. Infection is one of the highest ratio risk of the DBS that usually the DBS’s battery occurs. If it’s happening on the skin, it could be treat easily, however if it’s under the skin, you might need to have another surgery (Larson). Also Joseph S Neimat , MD, Vanderbilt University, reports that a new technology is required for preventing infection of DBS. Furthermore, he emphasized that importance of understanding the main causes of the infection. Dr. Vanderbilt using statics of 447 DBS implanted patients to argue that 28% of the infected patients were occurred by after they were been operated in a final stage of the surgery. It happens during operating surgeon, scalp erosion, surgical incision opening time and amount of crowds in the OR(operating room). 28% of 26 infected patients out of four hundred forty seven patients were crucially filed up by this fact (Neimat). Good effects always follow sudden risks. DBS is a new procedure that we just don’t know what’s the risk of this procedure in deep depth yet. It’s a time bomb for an infection whether it could possibly affect on your brain directly one day. DBS is a questionable solution that it’s a risk not only physically, but it could give you a mental stress from these risks. -- Done Friday 21, 2014
Deep Brain Stimulation might control our body and mind. It’s questionable whether this machine controls us or we control it. Wen Yang, MA, an architecture associate of Handel Architects, argues that deep brain stimulation controls the human body. She explains in her theory of algorithm - air conditional and its space - how a machine could control our mind. She notes, “If you have an air conditioner in your living room in a hot summer day, you would go to the living room and turn it on until you feel satisfied. You feel comfort in a nice temperature like how DBS will give you a comfort from the diseases.” Thus, she says that one should be aware that since you use the air conditioner in your living room, you would rather not go anywhere else. The air-conditioner causes this. You are being controlled by the air conditioner; your movement has been limited (Yang). Again what would happen if you don’t have DBS if you were as dependent as in the situation with the air conditioner? Kate Kelsall, a current 60 year old DBS user, who has a Colorado online personal journal says that it was during an unexpected leave from DBS that she had an epiphany: she gets great pleasure from its use and appreciates its advantages. Kate’s journal of her DBS impression is highly rated (Kellsal), but she does not explain how DBS works, and how it is to live without DBS. On the other hand, Pete, a current DBS user, a Parkinson’s disease patient, gives an example of turning off the DBS intentionally and turning the DBS on right after that. He states that when he turned his DBS off with a controller, his arms started to shake, and over time, he found it difficult to talk. While he was explaining how it feels, he was visibly uncomfortable with the shaking of his hand, so he stopped and turned DBS back on immediately. The stimulation squirted in his brain and his arm stopped shaking immediately. Based on the impressions of the DBS users, one can conclude that it is possible to be over dependent on the machine. It could have an effect on their brains and their minds. We may only be seeing the bright part of the Deep Brain Stimulation; the shadow part of this procedure might affect us not only physically, but be mentally addictive.
What if the government gets involved in DBS development for the citizens? DBS is a machine that increases one’s “happiness.” This means it can be used to decrease our desire of anger, jealousy, temperament mind, and so on. Consequently, DBS could be used on a criminal’s brain so that they will not have any desire to do something bad. This could be in the form of electronic purse reader bracelets that are similar to the ones currently being given to sexual criminals in South Korea. Furthermore, the government publicizes these bracelet users online. They show their photos, their address, and even where they are at the moment. According to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, in South Korea, for the raping of someone aged thirteen to nineteen one is given a prison sentence of at least five years. Furthermore, these sexual criminals are given penalties such as “electronic monitoring of offenders and public release of their personal information” According to the Douglas Kellner, PHD, UCLA professor in philosophy, one of the best known book “1984” which was written by George Orwell in 1940, reflected a “future totalitarian” system where every human opinions were subjected to “terror surveillance and its repressive bureaucracy.” George Orwell’s book “1984” have been renowned a lot from Red Menace as well as many critics since the book was written and published. (Kellner) Therefore, the US “conservative” party refers to the author’s books “1984” and “Animal Farm” as critiques against communism. This criticism influences the background of the movie “Equilibrium” (2000). The movie shows a “perfect, no crime, no war, everyone is equal society,” yet all these great “utopia” was happening when humans were being suppressed by medicine, which controls the human’s ‘greedy desire’. Regarding Orwell’s criticism and “Equilibrium,” one should be aware that the technology and bureaucracy might be related, thus Deep Brain Stimulation could be same reflection as “the medicine” in the “Equilibrium.”
Technology has been misused for a profit and its personal benefits. One of them is plastic surgery. Origin of plastic surgery was originally prescribed for soldiers during the first world war officially. Fake skin was implanted on a half burned face with a fake bone to cover the face like a mask, yet there were too many scars left behind patient’s face. About 100 years of technology development, medical technology is grown up rapidly, and there isn’t a such a scar that you can find after the plastic surgery has been prescribed. But, his technology has been misused, and the surgery become necessity in South Korea. Not only that these misuse occurs serious trouble to the users such as psychological problem that one of south korean woman injected cooking oil on her face(Alam M). Now, she became a monstrous look that she can’t go back to her normal life. Likewise, Crystal drug is also abused by people. Originally, Cristal drug were using in war from German side during the second world war (Lejonkungc). According to the field medical doctor’s report in January 1942, 500 german soldiers were almost given up their life at a cold night, where temperature was below 30, snow was totally filed in. suppression from the red army, and their body conditions really tired. In fact, these soldiers seemed too tired that they would rather die on the snow, but they became better, when they took Cristal drug -- It’s also known as Pervitin pills (Hurst). These two example shows the negative effect of using medical technology in abused. Than, what if we overused DBS for our depression? If your father died, yesterday and you turn up your DBS to avoid its depression and it actually make you “smile and happy”. Would you call this is an ordinary human condition?
Technology is one of the way human create a tool for a purpose of survival. Our ancient ancestors studying stars to find out what’s out. 2000 years ago, our ancestors discovered several great philosophical theories in western (Plato’s caveman Algorithm) and eastern philosophical questions (Buddha's suchness). It’s an ironic that we could develop our technology such a short time for our benefit with in two hundred years. But these 2000 years old philosophical questions weren’t answered yet. Modern people focus on benefit and it’s effect only. During we are “civilized” by the social structure and our role, we might forget the part of human instinct of curiosity and discovery. We shouldn’t only look at the benefit side of the Deep Brain stimulation, but also we should look at the possible impact of this technology will occur to us -- based on our technology abuse failure from the past. Disaster won’t be a disaster, when you aware and prepared its danger.
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