Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Self- Portrait: Face Transplant documentary and Face-Off film

Yesterday, we watched an interesting documentary about the 1st face transplant( not really good time to watch after lunch ), which was called as an unethical procedure by that specific french hospital. The patient Isabelle Dinoire had an severe accident, which provoked a face disfiguration from the nose to the chin. After knowing her story, we were presented to another 3 stories where the patients had a face reconstruction with different parts of their body tissue.
Going back to Isabelle's sad story, and after the hospital received green light t
o proceed with the face transplant operation, she had to wait for a donor, which meant somebody who died recently with the same blood type and age. the most shocking part for me was when she said that she was waiting for other's person death and every time she went out and heard the ambulances and was hoping that somebody died and she could get her face, it sounds ethically wrong but understanding her position, she has to feel so desperate to restart her life.
After six difficult months of waiting for somebody's death, she finally had
a donor and after a 15 hour operation she received a long- waited new face, but the problems with all this procedure were about the start,on one hand, its if body will accept the new face, for that she has to take a lot of medications, and if it doesn't she will have to " scrape off" all her face in case it gets gangrenous, on the other hand is how she has to face society and the media.

In documentary, it gave us an example, "Face-Off" a John Woo's film starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage, where for different reasons they completely "change" faces, and the two actors change to perform each other roles, really interesting film and some may say in an unethical way.

It has to be a really desperate situation for these people who have accidents which provoke the disfiguration of the face to live like this all their lives, is it ethical or not? Some people might say yes others no. In my opinion, the unethical side of it is that you lose yourself on your new face because is not yours anymore, and you become a "carrier" of other person's face, and the relatives of that person may feel uncomfortable, by seeing their beloved one, or part of it, walk again; on the other hand the fact that you are in a desperate position waiting for some kind of miracle to happen ( or somebody to die), to wake up every morning and not being able to look at the mirror because you are too scared of yourself might me something no one even want to imagine, i do agree with face transplant only if the donors' family don't mind to be through the situation of facing somebody that will look almost exactly that their loved one.

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