Proving that some people will see a dark side to everything, Popular Mechanics suggests that the future of self-driving cars is going to cause more people to die on waiting list for donor organs because fewer people will die in auto accidents. Self-driving cars are not subject to distracted driving, road rage, and so on. Thus, far less than the over 38,000 people who died in car crashes in 2015 will perish, meaning their organs will be unavailable to people who need them.

The article suggests measures like allowing people to sell their organs after they die and requiring them to be donors unless they opt out. Both ideas may be laudable.

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However, the problem is likely to fix itself due to another #technology that is on the horizon, homegrown organs using stem cells and 3D printing.

The idea is that instead of getting a kidney or a heart from someone unfortunate enough not to need it any longer, doctors will take cells from the patient’s body, make them into stem cells, then use them to grow an entirely new organ around a scaffold. When the organ is grown, it is then implanted into the patient’s body just like a spare part. The beauty of the idea is that since the grown organ is genetically compatible to the patient, he or she will not have to take anti-rejection drugs for life.

Another technique being developed is using stem cells to repair damaged organs without having to swap them out for new ones. Hearts that have been damaged by coronary events, such as the one that killed Carrie Fisher, would be repaired in this way so that they become as good as new.

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The anxiety that many people on donor organ waiting lists will be a thing of the past. Indeed, donor organs will become a thing of the past, just like a lot of other things.

The bottom line is that safer driving conditions on the road will allow fewer people to die and 3D printed organs and stem cell repair techniques will also enable more people to live longer. As Instapundit is given to say, it is the 21st Century after all. #Health