Lou Colasanti

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Medical technology is advancing at lightning speed with the potential to drastically benefit the disabled. These new technologies will result in humans who will use a wide array of assistive technologies and will likely be labelled as Cyborgs. Assistive technologies such as self-driving cars, robots, computer chip implants, insertable medical hardware, and exoskeletons are already well developed. The day is rapidly approaching when Cyborgs as a class will be large and influential. Critically, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the judges tasked with enforcing this legislation, and the legislature itself are all ill equipped to handle the speed of this coming change and the emergence of this Cyborg class. This paper points to the flaws around the ADA and the upcoming judicial quagmire due to a world that is being utterly transformed by the emergence of the Cyborgs. The epicenter of this new legal battle will be the legal determination of what constitutes a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. It is therefore of paramount importance that the courts anticipate these coming changes and prepare our legal system for such coming battles. Further questions as to where the legal border between a human and machine are increasingly being asked due to these technological and medical advances. Future political divisions regarding this new type of mechanical person are also touched upon and speculated about in this paper.

There seems to be little written in anticipation of the emergence of a new class of Cyborgs and the legal problems this may yet pose under the ADA. The author hopes to shed light on this critical area of the law. The author himself is a proud “Cyborg” having had five open heart surgeries and numerous artificial as well as animal heart valves installed throughout his life. This author considers it time that this class of person and citizen receive greater scholastic and legal consideration. This author also hopes that many of the potential upcoming issues created by the emergence of the Cyborg class can be addressed and discussed ahead of time.