Face Transplants, do you think it was Moral?

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  1. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 14 years ago

    I am just watching CNN and they are talking about the women who had severily disfigured face who received a full face transplant.

    The issue is whether or not the transplant was a moral surgery because her life was not in danger and she was not dying.  However, the trauma and disfigurations of her face has disrupted her life enough to justify the transplant.

    What are your thoughts?

    I am not sure what I think.  I just hope that everything works out for her and she does become happy, however I am not sure she is going to get the "inner healing" she was looking for.  But I don't know I am not her.

    1. BDazzler profile image81
      BDazzlerposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Didnt' see the story yet, but I assume the "donor" was dead, correct?

      People react to people by look all the time.  If the family of the donor didn't have a problem, then I don't see why anyone else would.  She was disfigured, and she was therefore being reacted to negatively.

      I used to weigh 420 lbs.  I had gastric bypass because it was a health issue, but I gotta tell you, people react to me differently, and it does make a difference in your life.  Like it or no.  Granted this was my responsiblity, But still it hurt when I knew people didn't think I could hear them laughting at me.

    2. Mark Knowles profile image58
      Mark Knowlesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I would think it all depends -

      Is she better looking now?

      1. VioletSun profile image78
        VioletSunposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        LOL!!! I see Mark and Misha are using the angelic pictures as avatars,  created by Dayzeebee. big_smile   

        And in answer to the question, yes guys,  I think its moral that the woman has a new face, there is no need to continue with intense suffering if the help is available and its not harming anyone. I can just imagine her going to a restaurant, or doing the mundane things we all do and getting stares and above all rejection. That's a painful way to live.

    3. guidebaba profile image58
      guidebabaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Face transplant? Is is truely possible. I have heard about organ transplant but not complete face transplant. Anyway, If it is possible, I would love to have the face of Obama.

      lol lol lol

    4. Shil1978 profile image89
      Shil1978posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I don't see any moral issues here.  If it improves the quality of life of the woman concerned and she is at peace with the new face, why not?  Fact is people judge others based on their looks.  How many would pity this poor woman if she were to go out and how many of us really would want that pity??  It isn't a good feeling at all.

      If this new face is accepted by her body and by her mind (more importantly), I think its one of the best things that could've happened to her.  I couldn't imagine myself living normally with a severely disfigured face.  So, if there is a medical option like that, it should be used.  As I said before, don't see any moral issues here, as long as she accepts this new face mentally as well as physically.

  2. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    LOL Sandy, thanks for the giggles big_smile

    You have to define moral first, cause it has very different meanings in different parts of the globe smile

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      You and Mark's new avatars are so distracting. smile

      I think the moral the surgeons were discussing was because her condition was not life threating and the risks of the surgery was too high and potentially life threatening.  Even though she did agree. 

      The other issue was that her surgery would set a "presedent" and people who are perfectly fine with minor deformaties and stuff will use this as an excuse to put there life on the line just to "feel better about the way you look'.

      Her case is obviously a blessing for her and I don't have a problem with it or anyone who wants to change what they look like for that matter, but I can only imagine the long term psychological damage knowing that her face belongs to a dead girl, and she is neither her or her new face. 

      Or that people do not love her for who she is but in order to be loved you have to look lovable.  I think it is a problem but I don't know.  Like I said I am not her and if I were I don't know what decision I would make.

      1. Misha profile image64
        Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Still don't see any connection to moral smile
        However, the question you seem to ask is "should we let her do this?"
        For that I have a simple contra-question "who are we to let or not let her do with her body and soul whatever she wants?" wink

        1. profile image0
          sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          For one, I really couldn't tell what what a "moral" is anymore because everyone has a difference sence of what is moral. 

          And yes, like I said and will say again, I don't care that she did it, I just hopes she gets what she was hoping for out of it. 

          And no I do not have any say in what she does but...

          considering some of the comments,  if she "judged" on what she looks like on her face, which is what everyone can almost agree on, is that your face makes you who you are.  Of course I want to say that it is what is inside that counts but obviously you can't make the moral connection here. 

          It's like zombie stuff, she has basically brought the dead back to life.  So whose life is it?  Is it hers or is it the dead persons?

        2. Marisa Wright profile image86
          Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          I also don't see what could be moral or immoral about it - it is a question of ethics.  However, it sounds like it was the TV interview that misused the term, not Sandra.

          The "moral" (sic) question that Sandra quoted is the same as the ethical one I posed, and that is the real issue.

          I don't think it sets any precedents, if (as I assume) her disfigurement was extreme.

  3. Arian Won profile image58
    Arian Wonposted 14 years ago

    Most people do judge other people by the way they look. I can imagine if I was in her place I'd probably never leave the house. Who really knows what goes on in her mind. Maybe she's so horribly disfigured that she contemplates suicide ever so often.

    I don't know how horribly disfigured she was previously,but I think it's safe to say even with a face transplant she still wouldn't look a 100% "Normal".

    However I do think it is moral, as long as they didn't get the face from an unwilling participant of course wink

    But could you imagine if someone you very were close to died and his or her face was transplanted onto someone elses.

  4. profile image0
    pgrundyposted 14 years ago

    That is so gruesome. I guess it's good for her, if she's OK with it. I can't imagine the pain of disfigurement, but it has to be very difficult, and once someone is dead that person certainly doesn't need a face anymore--but it still makes my skin crawl. Yikes.

    I know two people who had gastric bypass surgery, a man and a woman. The man didn't really see a lot of changes--he lost a lot of weight but still struggled with his weight and still had all the same problems and so forth--just felt healthier, somewhat. The woman's appearance changed dramatically but it wasn't all good. Lots of new problems--like attracting men for the first time and not being able to tell the ones who weren't worth spit, which was most of them.

    I don't know. I'm 55 and my looks are going. My waist is starting to disappear and my hair is white if I don't color it. Men don't look at me like they once did, and mostly it's a relief, although sometimes I wish I had a do-over so I could make better choices. Looking good when I was young didn't do much for me in the way of positives--It's easy to think that looking good is terribly important, especially if you're a woman, because everything around us tells us that it is all that matters--but actually, it mostly just insures a steady stream of jerks and head cases sniffing around your butt and your wallet.

    I'm glad she got a new face. I hope it works out for her and gives her some happiness.

  5. Stacie L profile image86
    Stacie Lposted 14 years ago

    People do judge us by our looks whether we like it or not. We haven't evolved enough as humans not to look past the outside.
    I am glad she has the option of getting a new face;it not only heals her externally but internally as well.
    Pray for her. smile

  6. weblog profile image59
    weblogposted 14 years ago

    Whose moral? smile

  7. Marisa Wright profile image86
    Marisa Wrightposted 14 years ago

    I agree that we need to know what you mean by "moral".  I can't see what could possibly be "immoral" about it.    Doctors are generally not asking whether it was moral - they're questioning whether it was ethical.  That's different. 

    The ethical question is, was it right for doctors to put this woman's life in danger (because it is a highly dangerous procedure), just to make her look better?

    I'm sure this issue was discussed very thoroughly with the woman before she went ahead.  If she was so badly disfigured that she couldn't interact with people and therefore had no quality of life anyway, I can see how she would be willing to risk death to improve her situation.  If it was that bad, then I think they did the right thing.

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      They did bring up ethical in the board meeting as well, but "moral" came up about three times (if I am not mistaken) as well as ethics. 

      though I don't disagree with your opinion either.

  8. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
    mistyhorizon2003posted 14 years ago

    I did a hub on this a short time ago, and if anyone wants to take a look the link is: http://hubpages.com/hub/Are-Face-Transp … ly-Correct

    This shows before and after examples of people who have needed, and had, face transplants. It is also worth explaining that due to the shape of each individual's skull, even after a face transplant the recipient will not look the same as the donor.

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah, they said that as well, that the recipent will not look like the donor or herself.  So who is she?

      I hardly doubt she is the same as before she her trauma, and I will doubt she will be the same after her new face is all healed.

      Doesn't anyone see what I am trying to say about long term pychological damage as well as allowing other people to do it.

      Given our breif history...if one can then why not another, then another, then another, before you know it people would be going in as Reba and coming out as Jessica. 

      And then would we say it is moral to change your skins.  Let me just get a new face and see if people like me better.  Really, what does this say about people?

      1. Misha profile image64
        Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Nothing, aside from they chose to do this smile
        And yes, if all want to be Jessica, let them smile

      2. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
        mistyhorizon2003posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Sandra,

        The first pictorial example on my hub shows that the recipient looks much the same as she did before, only with less disfigurement. This is due to her bone structure shaping the face, (you must have seen those forensic detective programmes where they find a skull and recreate the dead person's face with clay etc).

        Why is this any different to having a heart transplant, and then feeling the one thing that is pumping your life's blood around your body is another person's heart??

  9. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    I don't have the answers Sandy.

    Probably it is her life's goal to find this out smile

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      that's ok Misha, I wasn't asking for answers, I was asking for other peoples thoughts.  smile

      1. Misha profile image64
        Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        That's a men thing probably - we just have to have answers, and feel bad if we don't smile

  10. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
    mistyhorizon2003posted 14 years ago

    I agree Marisa, there is no moral dilemma here, unless a person is going to say it is wrong to accept a heart, lung or other transplant as well. The faces do not look the same on a different skull, and if it is going to give a person a quality of life without being ridiculed, then it is a good thing.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Misty, I should have made that clear - if someone is going to start saying it is wrong to accept a transplant on religious grounds, then we're getting into the morality debate.

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
        mistyhorizon2003posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Don't worry Marisa, I never thought of this as a religious issue anyway. It is purely about someone needing a part of another person's body to enhance their life. If that body part is no longer any use to the person that had it before, then why not enhance someone else's life by letting them utilise it!

    2. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, like Marissa said, scratch the discussion on morals, It was what they were talking about on the TV.  The real question is, is it ethical?

      The ethical difference between accepting a heart or a lung or other transplant is that the people getting them have a life or death condition, a heart would save their life, and lung will save their life etc... 

      This lady wasn't dying, just seriously tramatized, which again I am thinking, (while her case must have been pretty serious with many complications) that other people with less severe cases and not dying, would say, "well she got it, then why can't I".

      Is it ok for the doctors to say yes just because they said yes to her.  Will the people asking for it use the excuse that their life is terrible because they got the "ugly". 

      Can a doctor be sued down the road for denying a face transplant to a patient who does not need one but insist that it will imporve their life if they did and then committs suicide because she was denied?  And then what if a patient dies while recieving the transplant when they were in no danger of dying in the first place. 

      Is the doctor responsible for malpractice?  Where do they draw the line?

      My thoughts on whether it is ethical or not is for those reasons.  "morally", I will say again, I don't have any real thoughts on it.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image86
        Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        That's a good point, Sandra.  My thinking was - if this woman's disfigurement was so severe she had no lips, then it would be easy to draw a distinction between her situation and someone who just thought they weren't good-looking enough.  However, there are people with  body dysmorphic disorder who think they look hideous, who are not rational enough to see the difference - and that kind of person might do something drastic if they were denied. In that case, would the doctor be held responsible?

        I'm sure the doctor would be sure to get all kinds of disclaimers signed before the operation was conducted, and probably psychological evaluation as well - so that could be covered.

  11. mistyhorizon2003 profile image91
    mistyhorizon2003posted 14 years ago

    Again, I urge people serious about this issue to read my hub http://hubpages.com/hub/Are-Face-Transp … ly-Correct which clearly illustrates why this kind of transplant is so important and can change a person's life for the better without any moral dilemma.

  12. Rochelle Frank profile image91
    Rochelle Frankposted 14 years ago

    It doesn't really matter what people think--  it is all up to the people involved.

    I heard that the patient  could now  "lick her lips" --something that was impossible in her disfigured condition, since she didn't have lips.   Almost all of us would take  such simple things for granted.

    Hardly any of us could imagine putting ourselves in such a condition-- or in the condition the patient experienced before the surgery.

    Some people will say that "beauty comes from within",  and that is so very true. I  know a disfigured person who is very beautiful-- but the "anomaly" is  a constant struggle.  If you had a disfigured leg that could be corrected to make your life easier, would it be considered immoral to have it fixed?

  13. Miranda Rights profile image60
    Miranda Rightsposted 14 years ago

    I don't see how this is even a remotely moral issue. Is wearing lipstick moral? This is just the extreme version of that, except its not, because in this case she didn't even have lips. Imagine that! No Lips!

    Personally, if I somehow lost my face, I'd like to think I could get another one without worrying about the morality of the issue.

  14. agvulpes profile image86
    agvulpesposted 14 years ago

    I don't know if anyone else can remember when the question was raised about the morality of the first heart transplant. Morals and standards change with the times in which we live. In 100 years time (if the world still exists) you will probably walk into hospital and get a new face, just like that. (clicks fingers).
    If this operation makes this womans life happier who are we to question. cool
    Mark and Misha its hard to have a serious conversation with you two looking like that!

    1. Misha profile image64
      Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Can't say for Mark, but my conversations are never completely serious wink

  15. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    LOL Sandy, it obviously bothers you somehow. What's the deal with that? Are you going to change yours? I would strongly advise against this in your case, you have one of the prettiest faces around smile

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      no, I am just curious.  asking questions doesn't always have to imply that I need to be justified.  Anyways what is up with all your comments lately?  You aren't adding anything to the dicussion, just trying to ruffle my feathers for some reason.

      can I be involved in a conversation that is justified by curiosity?  smile

  16. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    Did I come out like that? yikes

    Sorry, I did not mean it...

    *retracting back into his shell scratching his head*

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      yes, and ok, you can come back out of your shell now.  smile

  17. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    Cool, I am coming back - but not on this thread, I tend to misinterpret it, so I better stay away smile

  18. ocbill profile image53
    ocbillposted 14 years ago

    If it is justified by a trauma accident I agree otherwise no. Sometimes reconstructive facial surgery is warranted. For cosmetic purposes only makes it worse from what I have seen.

  19. JPaulR profile image58
    JPaulRposted 14 years ago

    Since you're asking for opinions, I'm assuming that you want my opinion based on my moral compass, not an aggregate one.

    Our appearance has a huge effect on our lives, period. We can try to minimize this fact with platitudes like "beauty is only skin deep" or "don't judge a book by its cover" until we're blue in the face, but it will never change the hard-wiring of the human mind. Our appearance is not only relevant when it comes to attracting mates, but it determines how well people trust us, which types of people will accept us into their peer groups, even how much our parents will pay attention to us when we're children. This is simple biological imperative working through the subconscious mind.

    I can easily see how someone with a horribly disfigured face would risk death to raise their standing among the human community. Without being able to relate to others normally, quality of life takes a major nose-dive because the individual would never be able to meet higher-order social needs like companionship and acceptance. In regards to her decision to take the risk, I think it was a no-brainer. It was a simple act of self-preservation.

    However, I think there's a definite need for counseling or therapy in conjunction with the surgery. It would be unfortunate for her to overestimate the effect that the surgery will have on her life and be disappointed...as would it be terrible for her to suffer an identity crisis of sorts when she looks in the mirror.

    Special care should be taken to keep the entire thing in perspective. This is a very touchy subject for everyone to address because the human face is the most recognizable form to our subconscious. We imprint on the faces of others, we make psychological bonds with faces, we communicate more with our face than we do with our speech, and over time we begin to identify ourselves with our face. For those of us that aren't involved, as well as the patient, it may seem that switching your face is like throwing away your life up until that point and becoming another person. It simply isn't so if you can keep the notions of attachment and identity clear and properly-defined.


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