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01 January 2005

Face transplantation: A medical perspective

Peter A Clark

Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(1): RA1-6 :: ID: 13885

Abstract

In May 2004, researchers at the University of Louisville Medical Center in Kentucky submitted a 30-page detailed document to the niversity’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) that outlines their plan for the fi rst face transplant. Despite the fact that both the Royal College of Surgeons in England in 2003 and France’s Comité Consultatif National d’Ethique in 2004 issued reports saying that the risks of this surgery far outweigh the benefi ts to justify it at the present time, the IRB at the University of Louisville is presently studying the proposal. These medical professionals believe they have the microsurgical skills and the anatomical knowledge needed to perform this surgery as well as the pharmaceutical recipe needed to suppress the immune system while ensuring tolerable levels of toxicity in the patient. However, with the number of serious unknowns about this surgery, the risk of further injury and even death to the recipients, and the viable option of reconstructive surgery, face transplantation, a the present time, is not a just use of medical resources,in the best interest of the patient, or an effective way to accomplish the goals of medicine.

Keywords: Face - surgery, Reconstructive Surgical Procedures - ethics, Tissue Transplantation - ethics, Tissue Transplantation - methods, Ethics Committees, Research, Face - surgery, Reconstructive Surgical Procedures - methods, Tissue Transplantation - methods

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750