Medicine: A Transplant First

Surgeons use a donated face to reclaim a disfigured woman's life. But troubling ethical questions remain

So much of how we see ourselves--and how other people see us--is bound up in our faces that the idea of transplanting one person's visage onto another seems not just improbable but bizarre. And yet for the past few years, surgeons at a handful of medical centers in the U.S. and Europe have been cautiously preparing for just such a procedure to offer hope to patients who have been severely disfigured by burns or accidents. No one had yet raised a scalpel to try, in part because of numerous medical, ethical and psychological concerns that had to be considered first. That's...

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