In December Connie Culp became the recipient of the world’s first ever complete face transplant thanks to the skilled doctors at the Cleveland Clinic. You can read the rest of the article here. What seems very hopeful quickly becomes disturbing when we come to read that “The family of a brain dead woman granted [the doctors] permission to use her face. . . . Surgeons sheared out the donor’s mid-facial area including the lower eyelids, cheekbones, the nose, some of the sinus and the whole upper jaw, with the blood vessels.” I posted on a similar topic in 2005 when a team of French doctors performed the first partial face transplant. My thoughts remain the same and I have reposted them below.
Earlier this week in France a 38-year-old woman underwent the world’s first partial face transplant. The CNN.com article Face transplant woman thanks team recounts this amazing medical feat. Of all the ensuing controversy, none of it has dealt with the true issue surrounding this surgery. CNN.com reports, “The donor tissue came from a woman who had been declared brain-dead, with the permission of that woman’s family, doctors said.” This surgery has ushered in a new age in human history, the birth of the Human Commodity.
The Human Commodity is nothing new; black-market organ sales have occurred for a long time and recently embryos have been used as a source for stem cells used in research. What this event represents is the normalizing of the abnormal that occurs due to ecumenism within the monoculture. From the normalizing of homosexuality into merely another alternative lifestyle to the “Dutch Cure,” the monoculture embraces and normalizes the most abhorrent and base behavior.
The issue is that the “donor tissue,” a female face, was removed from a living human being and surgically transplanted onto another. In the September/October 2005 issue of Foreign Policy Peter Singer writes, “During the next 35 years, the traditional view of the sanctity of human life will collapse under pressure from scientific, technological, and demographic developments.” He goes on to assert that, “Hence, a decision to remove the feeding tube will be less controversial, for it will be a decision to end the life of a human body, but not of a person.” Singer believes that being alive does not necessarily constitute being a person and thus believes that there is a difference in killing a body and a person. The sanctity of human life is already collapsing and has already collapsed to the point that the organs of a living woman are now a harvestable commodity, with her family’s permission of course. According to the ecumenical monoculture, you are no longer a person you are a commodity, and your life has no intrinsic value. (Click here to see original posting.)
We have come a long way in the past 70 years. In 1939 with Aktion T4 Hitler ordered the execution of the mentally disabled; now we use them as spare parts.
I understand your viewpoint and it IS controversial, however, if it were not for modern science the very people you describe would be dead.
Currently I do not have donor written on my license, but I am thinking about doing so in the future. I too have grappled with this question.
The real heinous issue is that life is taken for granted by people who murder or attempt murder on others.
I know you are Christian, and don’t believe in science doing this, then why are you okay with science extending the life of someone that is dead, or has NO quality of life. You can’t pick and choose.
yeah, that is totally whack…reminds me about that whole Terry Schivo (sp.?) ordeal. It’s sad….
I’m all for donation to others if someone is deceased, but taking from a living, breathing human being…I can”t believe how quickly it is accepted and done.
I agree it is murder is heinous.
“I know you are Christian, and don’t believe in science doing this, then why are you okay with science extending the life of someone that is dead, or has NO quality of life. You can’t pick and choose.”
I hope I do not come across as anti-science. For the most part I love science, I appreciate that I can take allergy medication and that I am using a computer right now. I have numerous friends who are either doctors or are in med school and my wife has published papers in scientific journals. I am unsure; however, why this is an issue that I cannot pick and choose on. Why if I agree to extend the life of others via scientific and medical discovery must I also agree to use living individuals as sources of harvestable organs?
As for “quality of life” it is a myth, a fabrication of the American dream. By what standard are we to measure the quality of a life? If we use the average American household as the standard then the vast majority of peoples in the world would be considered lebensunwertes leben, “life unworthy of life.” Can we measure the quality of life based upon the quality of food one eats? How comfortable one’s bed is? Whether or not one has air-conditioning? The number of intestinal parasites a person has? Furthermore, what about those who do not meet this standard? Should we begin harvesting their organs?
I am all for organ donation . . . if dead people are donating the organs.
I actually did not know what the circumstances were to Ms. Culp’s facial transplant until I read this article.
I wish her the best, and was so heartbroken to her story. If you were in this situation you may or may not feel differently.
I agree that it could get out of control. I am supportive of stem cell research. I also would not want to be on life support. I don’t agree with keeping someone alive, including myself, who is clinically brain dead. I was friends with a boy who was paralysed from the waist down and could not speak. He had been in an accident at 3 yrs of age. We were 10. I heard later in life that he went on to live a very fruitful life. Or the life of Stephen Hawking, is simply miraculous in what he has given humankind in the area of math.
When I say “quality of life” I am only speaking of someone who is a on life support and brain dead. I know, there are many many situations that people are on life support. I also know this is a deeper subject than I am capable of grasping, emotionally dealing with etc…
I guess I just was so moved by Connie Culp and her story. I also know that we could be farther with healing spinal injuries and other diseases wth stem cell research. I know that the ethical concerns are many, but we are also on an amazing frontier of medical advancements and it would be a shame if religion stops it. I suppose we can agree to disagree and I thank you for hearing my post. I think it would be a scary world though if we start harvesting organs of less fortunate people. I know the producer’s of Slumdog Millionaire touched on this and it does happen.
Thanks for the clarifications and I appreciate the dialogue. Feel free to comment anytime.