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Psychological aspects of face transplantation: Read the small print carefully

Rumsey, Nichola



As a member of the Working Party set up by the Royal
College of Surgeons (RCS) in England to consider the technical, psychological, medical, and ethical aspects of face transplantation in 2003, I welcome the chance to comment on the article by the prospective team in Louisville. This commentary is offered from the perspective of a psychologist specializing in appearance and disfigurement. My understanding of other aspects of facial transplantation is derived from the discussions and final report of the RCS Working Party (Royal College of Surgeons
2003). In addition to being an experimental surgical procedure, face transplantation is experimental from the psychological perspective. Previous research and current understanding indicate that the psychological risks are more
complex and extensive than the Louisville team suggest.


Rumsey, N. (2004). Psychological aspects of face transplantation: Read the small print carefully. American Journal of Bioethics, 4(3), 22-25.

Journal Article Type Note
Publication Date Dec 1, 2004
Journal American Journal of Bioethics
Print ISSN 1526-5161
Electronic ISSN 1536-0075
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 3
Pages 22-25
Keywords face transplantation, psychology, visible difference
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