Doctors have no candidate for face transplant

Even as ethicists and others raise concerns, a team of doctors from Louisville and the Netherlands says it is ready to perform a face transplant.

"There arrives a point in time when the procedure should simply be done. We submit that that time is now," the team wrote in an article published Friday in The American Journal of Bioethics.

The article, by the team from the University of Louisville and the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, explores the ethical and psychological issues, and physical risks, involved in a transplant that would attach the face of a dead &to=http:// ' target=_blank>donor to someone with a severely disfigured face, such as a burn or accident victim.

Although researchers will not say when such a transplant would be done, they are taking steps toward the first &to=http://' target=_blank>operation, which would be considered clinical research. They also need to find a hospital in which to perform the &to=http://' target=_blank>surgery, informs Indianapolis Star.

According to the London Free Press, the doctors said they don't have a prime candidate for the procedure, and aren't actively screening for candidates.

They have submitted an application to an institutional review board in the Netherlands and are nearly ready to submit one to an independent board in the United States.

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