Scientists Resurrecting Pig Brains Could End In ‘Fate Worse Than Death’
Evil Mad Scientist with Large Brain Costume, Halloween Hanuted House. Photo: quavondo (Getty)
It may not be the time when pigs can fly, they’re closer than ever to being immortal.
A recent scientific experiment proved the ability to reanimate dead brain cells in pigs, an absolutely terrifying revelation in the wrong hands. Why? Many believe the same method could be replicated in human brains, resulting in “fate worse than death.”
Researchers at Yale announced they resurrected the brains of more than 100 slaughtered hogs. They found the cells were still healthy, keeping them alive for up to 36 hours by using a system of pumps, heaters and bags of artificial blood warmed to body temperature. It sounds incredible, but they were allegedly able to bring these pigs back to life (albeit without regaining consciousness) with the prospect to restore awareness with further experimentation.
However, a notable ethics and philosophy lecturer named Benjamin Curtis has already warned about the ethics of such experiments, saying that if used on humans, it could lead to them enduring a “living hell” in which their consciousness would be trapped inside a disembodied brain.
“Even if your conscious brain were kept alive after your body had died, you would have to spend the foreseeable future as a disembodied brain in a bucket, locked away inside your own mind without access to the sense that allow us to experience and interact with the world,” he told The Conversation. “In the best case scenario you would be spending your life with only your own thoughts for company.
“To end up a disembodied human brain may well be to suffer a fate worse than death,” said Curtis.
And who wouldn’t agree?
Certainly a foreshadowing of dire consequences, you would think these findings would remind one of a futuristic dystopia straight out of Black Mirror. However, it strikes a perfect cord with a riveting novel I read in college called Johnny Got His Gun.
Here’s the plot:
Joe Bonham, a young American soldier serving in World War I, awakens in a hospital bed after being caught in the blast of an exploding artillery shell. He gradually realizes that he has lost his arms, legs, and all of his face (including his eyes, ears, teeth, and tongue), but that his mind functions perfectly, leaving him a prisoner in his own body.
Joe attempts suicide by suffocation, but finds that he had been given a tracheotomy that he can neither remove nor control. At first Joe wishes to die, but later decides that he desires to be placed in a glass box and toured around the country in order to show others the true horrors of war. Joe successfully communicates these desires with military officials after months and months of banging his head on his pillow in Morse code. However, he realizes that the military will not grant his wishes, as it is “against regulations”. It is implied that he will live the rest of his natural life in his condition.
As Joe drifts between reality and fantasy, he remembers his old life with his family and girlfriend, and reflects upon the myths and realities of war.
Yeah. Unless these Frankenstein pig experiments have the potential to help the living, please, for the love of God, cease.
Josh Helmuth is a sports reporter in St. Louis who contributes to Mandatory.