Printing Life

It wasn’t so much that Eric was an alcoholic; he just couldn’t think of anything better to do with his evenings. His doctor had warned him for years that his drinking would catch up to him, however, as Eric looked through the protective glass of the Bioplotter scanning back and forth, slowly building up his new liver, he smugly grinned and thought to himself, ‘who’s wrong now?

The new organ was costing a pretty penny that his company’s insurance was refusing to pay for, claiming that his issue was not work-related. If only they knew about the bottles he kept in his bottom drawer. Still, it was only money and if the choice came between a new sports car and never drinking again, the decision was easy.

He wandered up and down the hall seeing countless different organs preserved in oversized vials: ears, hearts, lungs, fingers. He’d even heard rumors that at night, the place was printing full animals and even new people, but he chalked that one up to fear mongering, likely from the crowd he had to push through at the entrance of the facility; all wielding signs that accused this place of playing god.

As the Bioplotter made its final passes followed by a quaint chime, Eric’s nerves started to get the best of him. They’d given him the pamphlets and he’d signed the forms. He knew the risks; the surgery wasn’t the scary part, but there was a chance the body could reject the organ. He’d even read articles about rare cases in which the Biotissue wouldn’t stop growing in-vivo.

No time for those thoughts now though; he had a date with a glass of Macallan waiting for him.


  • How can we motivate healthy behaviour in an era where anything can be fixed?
  • How will decisions be made around elective care and reimbursement?
  • What unforeseen implications arise from the wholesale replacement of the human body?