p.p1 medical technology has turned them into sophisticated high-tech

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0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}span.s1 {font: 8.0px Helvetica}span.s2 {font: 12.0px Times}Since the deployment of United States soldiers in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) thenumbers of U.S. soldiers with physical disabilities have continued to increase.

This trend islikely to endure as long as insurgent groups in these countries continue to use improvisedexplosive devices1 (IEDs) or similar explosive weapons. In 2016, the Amputee Coalition ofAmerica has counted more than 1.5 thousand U.S. soldiers that have suffered a traumatic limpamputation.

2 This extreme number accounts solely for injuries that have occurred since thebeginning of their military missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. With this in mind, the U.S.Military and the U.S. Healthcare System face new challenges in how to provide adequate carefor their physically disabled soldiers. Therefore, the American Defense Advanced ResearchProjects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the United States Department of Defense, has beenactive in revolutionizing prosthetic technology since 2006 and is in the forefront of researchinto specialized artificial joints.Today, prostheses are much more than just wooden stumps used as spare parts for the humanbody.

Modern medical technology has turned them into sophisticated high-tech constructions,which are still being improved by the day. Whilst wearers still have to move their prostheseswith muscular strength, scientist have already developed ways for prostheses to be controlledwith thoughts alone. These neural prostheses might just be the beginning of the emergence oftranshumans – enhanced humans with abilities beyond those of “regular” humans. However,as neuro prostheses are still in their infancy, they are no equivalent replacement for a fleshand blood limb. Nonetheless, what will happen once these technologies become moreadvanced and limb replacements become more functional than their biological counterpart?Will physically healthy humans opt for a mechanical replacement? The moral and legalimplications in this regard are endless.

Yet, as human enhancement technologies advance, themain challenge might not be the moral or legal framing, but how humans will change theirperspective on what it is to be human.