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Ethics and Public Policy
Jan/Feb 2010

Arguing the Ethics of Facial Transplantation

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Drs Alexander, Gullane, and Adamson); Head and Neck Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio (Dr Alam); and Department of Experimental Morphology, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium (Dr Lengelé).

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2010;12(1):60-63. doi:10.1001/archfacial.2009.106

While 7 face transplants have been performed around the world, to date, there remains debate regarding the validity of this procedure. We submit that performing a facial transplant—in the appropriately selected patient—is technically defensible and ethically sound. By outlining the technical and ethical boundaries of the debate, responding to the key arguments against the procedure, and describing its motivations and potential benefits, we state our justification of facial transplantation.