Of course, considering the horrifying trauma of losing a limb in an accident, to disease, or sacrificing it on the battlefield, one could argue that wishing one’s arm away is equally ungrateful and disrespectful. Yet if things turn out the way some researchers are predicting, giving up an arm voluntarily may not be quite as socially unacceptable in the future. In fact, it may well be worth the initial investment of dollars and human flesh and bone.
Developments in the field of advanced, intelligent prosthetics is moving faster than anyone would have expected. Costs are plummeting and technological advances are accelerating. Today, it’s almost trivial that artificial limbs can be controlled by the brain and send sensory inputs back to it with TMR, or target muscle reinnervation, a technology that connects the brain to the artificial limb through cables literally spliced with nerve endings.