Face Transplant Essay

675 Words3 Pages
 ≡ Services Research Teaching Home > ... Facial reconstruction and face transplants > Changing identity – face transplant ethics Changing identity – face transplant ethics Face transplant ethics involved with changing identity Altered or changing identity is often the first issue raised when face transplant ethics are discussed with health professionals, patients and the general public. The face, as the central organ of communication, the focus of sexual attractiveness and the means of immediate recognition by others, is directly linked to a person’s identity. And changing your face – and by association the identity – is a complex issue that needs to be discussed. However the issue of changing identity is one with which patients potentially face already. Severe burns and injuries result in a very different facial appearance to which the person must also adapt to. Changing identity: similarities in coming to terms with facial disfigurement and transplant Patients who have suffered facial disfigurement, such as burns, often comment on the length of time it takes after an accident to recognise the differences in their face as their own. Eventually though, over a period of many years, identity and appearance merge and people who have lived with the disfiguration sometimes for longer than with the original face - become familiar with it, and positive about their altered appearance. From this point of view, a face transplant represents a similar journey of changing identity but is provided by plastic surgery instead of the natural healing process. A face transplant represents the same loss and process of adjustment as natural healing, and has the potential to also last for many years. Face transplants: disturbing for patients and their families? Some have argued that the issue of changing your face, and taking on another identity, is
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