Surgeons appear to be gearing up to carry out the world's first face transplant. British doctors say they have been approached by 10 patients keen to find out more about the procedure.
Surgeons in France and the United States say they are now ready to graft the face of a dead person on to someone who has been facially disfigured.
However, British doctors say they need public support before they will carry out the highly controversial procedure.
The prospect of transplanting a face from a dead person to another living person was first raised by plastic surgeons one year ago.
Speaking at the time, Peter Butler, a plastic surgeon at London's Royal Free Hospital, told a conference that the procedure would be possible within months.
Surgeons now say they have reached the point where they could carry out the operation.
They say improvements in anti-rejection drugs now make it possible.
The technique would involve removing facial muscles and skin from a dead donor and placing them on another person.
Surgeons have acknowledged that such a procedure raises major moral, ethical and psychological issues.
The Royal College of Surgeons of England is expected to publish a report on face transplants next week. Surgeons hope it will help to spark a public debate.
The Royal Free Hospital insisted that its doctors would not carry out the procedure until the issues were debated.
While Peter Butler and his team are confident they have overcome the technical hurdles to this procedure, there are many moral, ethical and psychological issues which need to be debated before anyone has surgery," a spokeswoman said.
"The publication of the Royal College of Surgeons' report on the issue of face transplantation, which is due soon, is the first step in this important process."
I immediately thought of the movie, 'Face/Off'. I think it would be beneficial to the patients who are disfigured, but a strange situation for the families of the donors.
I did as well. Thats a good point btw. But it can be a bad thing as well. Imagine if someone with $$ saw a face they desired, and then hired someone to kidnap that individual to "steal their face". Wouldn't be pretty! Or governmental benifits... hmmm
...the truth of things is the chief nutriment of superior intellects.
Not only is it gross but ones outer appearance should never mean anything at all . Good looks is nothing more than an illusion that means nothing , As an advanced race shouldn't we humans be beyond this crap by now ?!?
I can only think of the person who has a disease that caused their nose to have to be taken off, or a burn victim. It's not vanity when you want to go out in public and not be stared at because you look so different.
"Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has
found no remedy for the worst of them all --- the apathy of human beings." Helen Keller
'For we walk by faith, not by sight.' II Corinthians 5:7
Posted 12 November 2003 - 03:08 PM
I think this could be a good thing.
I am supposing that the person receiving the "new face" wouldn't necessarilly look like the "donor" because the receiver will still have their own "facial structure" (skeletal structure). The only difference would be the skin color and tone and any marks like moles or birth marks that are on the "donor" face. I am guessing anyway!
I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there is.
Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin. ~anonymous~
Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction.
Posted 23 November 2003 - 04:17 AM
Every medical procedure has its good and bad points, especially when a dead person is involved - you enter a whole new ethic debate. But… it comes down to the individual and whether they have agreed to have this procedure done to them, after they on longer has use for their face (sounds strange!) To simple want to change your face to have a better looking one - in my opinion - is a little freaky! But if you're disfigured by disease or fire, or a birth defect, then that’s up to the person to decide! Think of it like this… if you have had a disfigured face for the last 10 or 20 years, if not longer, and suddenly medical science comes up with an answer, would you still be saying no?
I have the exact thought about stealing people's faces. Reminds me of one of Frank Baum's Oz books, where Dorothy met a sorceress who have a whole closet full of heads. When she wants to change her appearance, she simply take old one off and put another one on.
I think this would be a good thing for people that have been disfigured,say due to a bad accident,fire,etc.But i also think there had better be strict laws and regulations,otherwise the "rich" will take advantage of it .