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Getting a New Face

        Have you ever watched the American sci-fi thriller “Face Off”? Doctors were able to transplant facial bones as well as skin, muscle and nerves. The result was that patients ended up looking almost exactly like their donors.Now, it could soon happen in real life. 

 face off

Irish doctor, Peter Butler, has called for public discussion in Britain before he attempts to do the world's first face transplant as early as this year.

Butler and his supporters say the operation could transform ruined lives like those of burn victims or someone suffering from face cancer. A face transplant could mean a deformity is spotted only at one metre away rather than 15 at present according to Butler .

A new transplant technique seems to support Butler's plan. It reduces the need for powerful drugs used to stop the body from rejecting foreign body tissue. "If it is possible, the technology could be applied to face transplants ", Butler said.


        The suffering patients welcomed the idea.    

        “If you haven't got a ruined  face then it's very hard to understand. You would do anything to give a loved one a life again," said Christine Piff, who had been suffering from a rare facial cancer for 25 years.

However, there is also fierce opposition .Some say the idea is abnormal and is too far removed from medicine's ethical roots. Some doubt about the medical basis of Butler's ideas even with the new transplant technique.

“I think it's raising hopes unreasonably, ” said Richard Nicholson, editor of a British magazine about medical ethics.  “ I suspect the patients don't understand it's going to be very difficult to get any of the nerves and muscles that control facial expression working again. " 


funny man


        Besides, Butler faces a hard job if he is to convince the British public about such a plan.

Most respondents in his own survey, many of them doctors, said they were willing to accept a new face but few would consider donating.

Butler, who told his wife to donate his face ,if he died suddenly, admitted he did not know how to encourage donation. But the 40-year-old doctor felt optimistic that the public opinion would change.

“ if I don’t raise the debate we can’t explore a way through this,” he said.






















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