Essay about About Face: the Face Transplant Debate

6110 Words Jun 16th, 2010 25 Pages
About Face: The Face Transplant Debate
By Sherri L. Rodney-Kahle
HCA 322 Health Care Ethics and Medical Law
Professor Dolores Thomas
July 13, 2009

About Face – The Great Face Transplant Debate The first successful human organ transplant in the United States was performed on December 23, 1954. On that date, a kidney was successfully transplanted, with the organ donated by a living identical twin of the recipient (Kaserman, 2007). More than fifty years have now passed since that first successful human organ transplant and since then, organ transplantation has moved from the experimental stage to assume an important role in the treatment of organ failure stemming from a wide variety of underlying causes. Today, kidneys,
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While tissue allograft resembles transplant in terms of requiring surgical transfer of human tissue from a donor to recipient, it does not conform to a traditional transplant model because the primary skill involved relates to plastic and reconstructive surgery both at the procurement and allograft stages (Hartman, 2005). Further, there are more complexities involved with matching donors with recipients beyond matching blood types. With a visibly accessible organ such as skin, physicians also need to match gender, age range, skin type, and color of donor and recipient (Powell, 2006). Long-term consequences are starkly unknown, such as genetic tissue mutation or psychological impact. Additionally, short-term risks, such as infection and additional scarring, are enduring and possibly permanent. Conceding untold results and risks for humans, including tissue rejection by the host immune system and long-term healing, research scientists and surgeons nonetheless forecast transferring transplantable tissue to a recipient, including some "architecture" from a donor face, such as shape and proportion of brow lines, noses, cheekbones, and mouth formation. They maintain,

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