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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!