Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Face Transplant

Ok, I know that we watched this a little while back and should have reviewed it earlier, but whilst researching my essay, i found that this was a very relevant source.

I felt that this was a very influential and informative documentary about a young woman, Isabella Dinoire, whose nose and lower face were bitten off by her pet dog. I personally found the story quite touching, though i do understand the moral and ethical issues that come with it, for example the thought of waiting and almost 'hoping' some1 will die soon to be able to have a chance of recieving their face. After reading some students' blogs I found that they thought it was quite 'disturbing' walking around with a dead person's face on your own and whether it changed their personalities to be like the donors; and what if the donor's family walked past her in the street- would they see their deceased? Call me shallow, perhaps, but i don't think that this problem would arise. It's just skin and tissue connected to someones face- it will adapt to fit to Isabella's own and connect with her own tissues.
The documentary itself was quite biased towards being for face transplants because it didnt explain the side-affects and problems which would arise after Isabella's face transplant like they did with the guy whose arm got rejected by his body. Howver, i did do some research into this to find out if there were actually any problems and found that she faces lifelong treatment with her immunosuppressant drugs and the persistant worry due to them bringing the added risk of kidney failure and increase the chance of infection and cancer.
I found this passage in a book that i was reading for my essay...
' It is probably easier and more satisfactory to the disfigured persons themselves, to intervene surgically to try and make faces more normal in appearance than it is to try to change the behavior of bystanders.'
In this case I don't think that a face transplant was unethical- Isabella's life was affected badly- she would wear a mask over her face and for most of the time in the beginning, she wouldn't even go outside. I guess she felt traped in her own body, not feeling like she could be herself and portray her true identity due to the fear of judgement from others. After the transplant, i suppose she felt more 'normal' and accepted into society, at least a hell of a lot more than she would have been if she didnt have a face. It also meant that she was finally able to eat and drink like a normal person. The only reason i would disagree with this procedure is if became an obsession or an addiction, like plastic surgery- changing the way god made you, interfering with nature, for vanity rather than medical reasons.

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