alexa Ethical questions raised by the first allotransplantations of the face: a survey of French surgeons.


Reconstructive Surgery & Anaplastology

Author(s): Pirnay P, Foo R, Herv C, Meningaud JP

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Abstract INTRODUCTION: More than any other allograft, the allotransplantation of the face has a symbolic character, which raises a large number of questions. The objective of this article is to make an analysis through a survey carried out among French surgeons. METHODS: A file of 909 e-mail addresses of surgeons was created so as to send out a questionnaire regarding 10 ethical issues. RESULTS: Beyond the technical prowess, the surgeons ethical reflection initially focused on the notion of consent to donation and care. They attached equal importance to all ethical questions. They spontaneously raised the issue of over-mediatization of these first transplants and the place of the transplant surgeons and their patients in the medical information. CONCLUSION: Over two thirds of the surgeons attached importance to ethical issues regarding the donor and recipient of a facial allograft. Some of the principal questions facing facial transplantation is of an ethical nature as it is an unprecedented procedure that is challenged by the axiom to first do no harm and the need of modern medicine to limit risk to as close to zero as possible. For the non-specialist, accepting psychologically the face of another individual appears to be a real issue. Contrary to that, the main demand expressed by the facial transplant recipients appears to be related to facial functions rather than appearance. Copyright © 2012 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This article was published in J Craniomaxillofac Surg and referenced in Reconstructive Surgery & Anaplastology

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