Face plant

Back in February 2003, I linked to a story about a girl getting the first ever face transplant. Now the BBC reports of another first face transplant (maybe the first one didn't, er, stick?). A French woman who lost her nose, lips, and chin in a dog attack will get the skin, fat, and blood vessels from a recently deceased donor grafted to her lower face. Medical risks aside, it presents new ethical conundrums. Iain Hutchison of Saving Faces - the Facial Surgery Research Foundation, says, "The transplant would have to come from a beating heart donor. So, say your sister was in intensive care, you would have to agree to allow their face to be removed before the ventilator was switched off. And there is the possibility that the donor would then carry on breathing."

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