Last year WBP discussed the first-ever, medical breakthrough face transplant in 2005, that transformed the quality of life for a French woman mauled by her pet
Now, the first hospital in the
Arguably, the importance of the procedure leaves little to question. What does pose questions, at least for this writer, is what the ethical implications of this groundbreaking surgery could be for the recipients of the surgery, as well as for the donors and families of the donors in terms of privacy.Would HIPAA issues come into play? Having a face transplant poses different issues and/or risks in terms of privacy for both recipients and donors, unlike other types of transplant surgery. How will governmental agencies address—and remedy the likely privacy issues that will arise with restored patients walking around with easily identifiable (perhaps) body parts from an unfortunately deceased donor.
What if the donor—or recipient—is a celebrity? Or is a minor? What are the protections in place regarding privacy for both sides? What are the patient’s rights…what are the donors—and how would current privacy laws be modified or changed to accommodate a new surgical frontier? Do one group’s rights supersede the others? These may seem like sophomoric questions, but I wonder nonetheless. In the case of the first recipient from
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