Reuters reports on the ground-breaking face transplant operation that took place in France last Sunday. Naturally, there are ethical issues: "Did the patient give adequately informed consent to the procedure? Did she understand the risks and implications of the transplant?" asked one doctor. Adds an ethicist: "...it is likely that the families of the deceased donor may be exposed to images of the recipient and this is likely to present particular difficulties for them." There are potential medical complications as well, such as if the body's immune system rejects the new facial cells over time.
Not that any of this is new. A few years ago, law enforcement agents, investigating a bioterror plot in Los Angeles, actually managed to switch the face of one of its officers with that of a leading terror suspect. Unfortunately the terrorist awoke from his coma, secured the face of the officer, and wreaked all sorts of havoc until the two eventually faced off and shot the hell out of each other amid flying pigeons.
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