Bioethics News

Risky Penis, Face and Hand Transplants Focus on Improving Lives — Not Saving Them

May 17, 2016

(The Washington Post) – Today, an average of 79 people receive organ transplants — heart, lungs, livers, you name it — every day in the United States. Most of these patients are seriously ill, facing death, or at least suffering dire health consequences because of their malfunctioning organ. But increasingly, a new kind of transplant patient is emerging. They’re undergoing some of the newest, riskiest transplant procedures in the world — and their lives don’t even depend on them. Charla Nash got a new face. Thomas Manning got a new penis. Zion Harvey got new hands. None of these patients were dying, but they’d suffered profound loses that were affecting their quality of life. And surgeons decided to do something about it.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.