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Facing up to the ‘complete face transplant’ isse

The Royal Free Hospital in Northwest London where Peter Butler and his team work is buzzing with anticipation, as they await the approval// from the ethics board for going ahead with the ‘full face’ transplant surgery.

Last December, the ethics board had given Butler and his team permission to find a suitable patient for the surgery. After educating patients regarding the risks involved, now it is in the final stage of receiving approval to carry out the process.

To quote Butler,” We applied to the ethical commission to use the selection tools we have on people seeking facial transplantation and that was approved in December. The next part was to educate the patient of the risks, and that leads you on to the consent process, approved three or four weeks ago. And the final stage is to get ethical approval to do the procedure. Obviously there is a big question mark about Wednesday, but my feeling is the hospital would be unlikely to start the process if we can’t finish it.”

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