Where Babies Will Come From

This cartoon is just ridiculous. The printer will be much bigger and the parents will be standing right next to it, waiting for the baby, not looking at their computer screens.

But other than that -- if we're already producing body parts with printers, how long before we produce whole people? 

Yes, we have a ways to go. But perhaps not as far as some would think.

Some will argue that the very idea is shocking, unnatural, dehumanizing. It may seem so now, but similar arguments were made (and still are by some, I suppose) about in vitro fertilization. A system that would move the reproductive function outside of the human body would be beneficial for couples for whom the traditional way of making a  baby just won't work. (Think woman without a uterus. Think two gay men.) 

But a lot of people will probably opt for it instead of the traditional method even though the traditional method would work for them. This is not just a matter of convenience. Childbearing is a process fraught with pain and danger. It takes a long time and it's hard on a body in a lot of different ways.

The debate between "natural" and "modern" childbirth will simply take on a new dimension. Think of the baby printer as the ultimate epidural.


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