Face Transplants

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Non Fiction Article


Doctor Peter Butler is one of the surgeons pioneering face transplants in the UK and explains that “this procedure takes up where reconstructive surgery stops, offering hope to people whose faces have been severely disfigured through disease or accidents”. He adds, “the transplant of the face takes on the architecture of the recipients face, so it isn’t a question of making a mask”.

The very first procedure was carried out on a woman in France recently which, was by all accounts, very successful. Now, Butler has been given the green light by the Ethics Committee of the Royal Free Hospital in London Uk to find a suitable candidate for this procedure. The very idea of this procedure having taken place already verges on the weird and wonderful. These medics have permission to carry out this new procedure which is commonly known as “The Face Race”. To me, Frankenstin comes to mind…

The moral ethics involved in this alone are gigantic never mind the psychological effects it will have on some of its patients. Many organs have been transplanted over the years but I think this is perhaps taking it a step too far. Can you imagine a medic coming up to you after the death of your dearly beloved and asking for their face?

I personally feel that the impact of this new transplant procedure should be investigated further or we may have the obvious outcome of people in the later part of their lives going around with twenty year old faces. Or worse still, can you even begin to imagine how it would feel like to see the face of your dearly departed (a few years after their demise) staring back at you in a que for the cinema or anywhere else for that matter? Your guess is as good as mine.

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