Medicine: Ears Made New

Surgery as sculpture

What persuaded the late oil billionaire J. Paul Getty to pay $2.9 million in ransom for his kidnaped grandson Eugene Paul Getty II was the 17-year-old's right ear. His Calabrian kidnapers had cut it off and mailed it to a Rome newspaper with threats of further mutilations. Last week young Getty, now 21, was working in Southern California on documentary films and no longer self-conscious about that ear. A new ear of tissues taken from his own body is in process of being sculpted at Stanford University Medical Center.

Getty is the most famous patient among 150 who have acquired...

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!