Document Type

Junior Honorable Mention

Award Date

Fall 2011

Course Name

Literary Explorations III


Tracy Townsend


For these past two hundred years I have been living in utter seclusion from the rest of humanity. Life would have lost its meaning long ago were it not for a divine occurrence. I happened to pass through a gargantuan athenaeum of sorts and I whiled my hours away devouring the intellectual delights that lay within. I read several books on a compelling issue, and one that seems to be novel, unheard-of and that has seemed to stir up quite a controversy. The issue is the surgical operation of face transplants on humans. From what I have read, a face transplant is a surgical procedure that replaces a portion or the full extent of one’s face (Petechuk 130). The beings on which these operations are performed are victims of burns or trauma, or persons whose faces are so exceedingly disfigured such that they are rendered unable to speak, smell, eat and talk (Barclay 1349). Said a recipient of face transplantation: I just wished… “to be human again” (Larrabee and Hilger 2250). This issue immediately caught my attention, being that the correlation between outwardly appearance and societal acceptance is so dear to me, and I resolved to acquire as much knowledge on this issue as possible. A controversy seems to be rippling through the medical world of the ethics and viability of face transplantation. I will not hide the defects of this procedure from you, as there has been much doubt encircling the issue of facial transplantation. But I stand firm and unwavering in my support of human face transplantation. As a being who has suffered the consequences of a repugnant countenance, I feel that in spite of the long term risks and ethical implications, the procedure of face transplantation should be performed on deserving patients because of its restorative benefits that reintegrate previously estranged and potentially suicidal patients back into society.