"Put On A Happy Face"
Yes, a face.
We live in a society that automatically judges others by their looks, and for the many thousands that are disfigured from horrible accidents like facial burns, the painful scars run beyond being skin deep. They might have recovered physically from their trauma, but the emotional and psychological pain continues after the healing.
Here's how the operation proceeds:
1)They receive the face from a cadaver, matching the patient's skin tone, age, sex, and tissue as best as possible. That's right - they get a dead person's face. Ewwwwwwwwww!
2)The new face is surgically placed on the patients - a pair of veins and arteries from both sides are connected, and 20 nerve endings are stitched together. Little sutures then anchor the new face to the patient's scalp, neck, and other openings like eyes, nose, and mouth.
3)Anti-rejection pills must be taken forever, and the patient still risks infections and other complications - including tissue rejection. The face could then begin to rot and fall off (OK, I didn't need to include that detail, but I thought I'd throw that in for 'shock value').
4)Follow up counseling to help the patient with any emotional and psychological issues that could arise. Gee...like having a dead person's face attached to your head?
Those that oppose the face transplant say the risks are too great for a non-life-threatening situation. Also, there's the issue of morality - is taking the face of a deceased person the right thing to do?
Matthew Teffeteller, his face disfigured from an explosion in a car accident, would never get the surgery. "Having somebody else's face ... that wouldn't be right. When I look in the mirror, I might be scarred but I can still tell that it's me," he said.
How about the whole creepiness factor. Could you imagine wearing some other person's face? Experts believe you won't necessarily look like the dead person - that your new face would be a combination of the dead person AND you. WHAT? You'd be like a walking morph-head!
That reminds me, ever see that movie Face Off? John Travolta plays an FBI agent trying to bring down Nicholas Cage's criminal character. Travolta gets Cage's face transplanted in order to go undercover. But all hell breaks loose when Cage (the criminal) gets Travolta's face transplanted on HIM. Clever, huh? It's like a Who's on First Thriller with bullets and kung fu.
So in the future, when you sign the back of your driver's license and consent to donate your organs in the event of your death, are you essentially and possibly giving consent to donate your FACE as well? OK, that thought just gave me the heebie-jeebies.
Imagine the other ramifications if this science is perfected and viable:
>Criminals could get face transplants to escape the authorities.
>It would radically change plastic surgery - forget the rhinoplasty, gimmie Marilyn Monroe's face...literally!
>Bill Clinton could get a new face, take on a new identity, and run for President AGAIN.
Michael Jackson could BE the elephant man...or John Lennon.
Face transplants would put the EXTREME in "extreme makeover." So who's dead face would YOU want to wear if you could?