Wednesday 3 August 2011 by Mrs Waylandsmithy

Investment banker fitted with world’s first artificial conscience


British surgeons are celebrating a major breakthrough in medical science, after successfully fitting an investment banker with the world’s first artificial conscience.

The patient Mark De Boers was an ideal candidate for the ground-breaking operation, which may give hope to the relatives of workers in the financial services industry.

Mr De Boers told reporters, “I’ve always prided myself on my detachment from the misery of others, but recently, people have been saying that they thought I was a little cold.”

“When they took my temperature, they realised I was emotionally dead.”

Investment banking is widely regarded as a very dangerous business, where the rewards can be enormous, but the risks taken on other peoples’ behalf lead to levels of aloofness that are so high, they can cause nose bleeds.

Head surgeon Dr Nicholas Antibes pioneered the operation, “Fortunately, we found plenty of room for the mechanical conscience in his chest cavity.”

“It was roughly in the position where we’d normally expect to find a heart. But finding somewhere to put all the AA batteries was another matter.”

“We had to fit the cells and a huge empathy pump into a suitcase with wheels on. He’s going to have to lug this emotional baggage around with him, just to keep the conscience tutting over.”

Artificial conscience

Since the operation, De Boers is doing remarkably well, and now lives in a co-operative vegan community in South Wales.

There have, however, been some setbacks: an attempt to float the commune on the stock exchange was only averted by an emergency change of mind, carried out in the field using a yoghurt pot and a Swiss army knife.

Doctors have warned that the operation isn’t a permanent solution. The suitcase and hoses make travel through revolving doors impossible, and De Boers nearly died of shame when a guard on the train from Swansea placed the bag on an overhead luggage rack.

The banker may be stuck with the artificial conscience for some time, as Dr Antibes explained, “De Boers had this procedure carried out privately, when money was no object.”

“But now that the conscience is working, he’s insisted on joining the queue for a replacement on the NHS.”

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