Thursday, December 18, 2008

Real-life Face Off

today's news for medical breakthrough is the US first face transplant. the woman who had sustained major damages to her face had a whole face transplant together with bone, teeth and muscle tissues from a cadaver. previously, such surgeries had been conducted in china and france. the patient had died in the former whereas little is known of the latter.

the issue of bioethics is in hot pursuit of such experimental procedures. which led me to wonder a couple of thoughts. can you imagine if this surgery was to become a common procedure, rich people could be paying poor people for their beautiful faces or even hiring assassins to hunt down beautiful people for their faces. face recognition would no longer be valid.

undeniably, some people may actually really need such transplantation. those whose lives would be drastically changed in terms of feeding oneself (those who need a jaw etc.) or preserving the integrity of their skull (head injury which could cause the skull to collapse and crush the brain - *not too sure about this though*) etc. those people really do deserve whatever medical help that could save their lives. but medical procedures can't be kept exclusively to just a select group of doctors, as such discoveries would be documented in journals and unethical doctors might exploit the information and carry out illegal black market surgeries for anyone that can pay them the right price. and in doing so, a new sort of crime would emerge - face theft!

it is bad enough that we hear stories of people getting their kidneys stolen from their bodies while staying in hotels or getting abducted by going to toilets. it would be horrendous to read in the newspaper of innocent people getting their faces cut off and left for dead at the side of the road.

i think that my imagination may be running a little out of hand now. but this could actually happen, if you sit down and think about it. nowadays, crime is so common that nothing really shocks us to the core anymore... it would be a rare occurrence indeed.

but as with most of the 'ethics' issues, there isn't any clear cut border between what's right and what's wrong. it would be chauvinistic to impose a person's or organisation's opinion on the whole population of the world. with no right or wrong, we are left stuck in limbo fighting each other and casting our countless opinions into a never-ending bin of anger and hate. ah, this is the world!
(omg, i think i'm totally crapping here...)

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