Degree Name

Master of Philosophy


School of Computing and Information Technology


The post-modern phenomenon of body-modifying technologies, human adaptation and the universal right of moral-autonomy is the central theme of this discussion. As such it begins with a discussion on body-modifying technologies and the way it may or may not surpass the individual in one’s willingness to adapt—being free of any type of coercion. Such practices are investigated both inside and outside of various organizational confines, including free-adopters and subcultural practices, including but not limited to what is transpiring and/or on the table for discussion within hospitals, correctional facilities, the workplace as well as National Defense. Consistently contrasted throughout is the trichotomy of body-modifications through willing human acceptance—referred to as free-adopters versus practices that transpire through medical intervention—referred to as restorative health measures, versus that which is externally regulated through imposed order. With a focus on the individual’s right of jurisdiction over one’s body it focuses on techno-practices that directly intercept with the human body— likewise arguing for certain limitations, such as needless bodily harm. Such subcutaneous practices— range from body-art (i.e. skin-branding and tattoos) to skin-embedded devices (i.e. Neuroprosthetic chips designed to combat PTSD in soldiers or war veterans). In making this distinction it separates the internal locus of control from the external —distinguishing the internal locus of each said individual’s personal autonomy as being an issue of bodily integrity—to that which extends beyond each said individual presented as within the jurisdiction of the government to ensure public safety. This thesis argues that the individual’s right of refusal needs to be safe-guarded, inversely protecting rights of acceptance based on universally grounded principals. Rather than argue against subdermal-tech evolution and/or rights of acceptance it puts forth recommendations that in-order to protect individual moral autonomy, alternative means must continue to co-exist or when needed be engineered, innovated and marketed, to provide viable resources to live in community, participate in the work-place, function in commerce as well as move towards greater levels of self-actualization in a way that does not necessitate adoption.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.