French doctors' association attacks face-transplant team

France's main doctors organization criticized the medical team behind the world's first partial face transplant for over-publicizing the surgery at the expense of the donor and recipient's privacy. The National Order of Doctors said the medical team behind the groundbreaking transplant broke the profession's code of ethics by seeking publicity for their exploit. It also said images of the recipient released to the media were "spectacular and morbid," and "cruel" for the donor's family.

Doctors on Nov. 27 grafted a nose, chin and lips from the brain-dead donor onto the face of the French woman disfigured by a mauling from her Labrador this spring. French and foreign media have published photos of the surgery.

"The National Order of Doctors regrets that a premature, uncontrolled release of information resulted in putting the technical exploit ahead of respect for the patient, the donor, her generosity and that of her family, contrary to the professional rules written in the ethics code," the group said in its statement released Thursday.

One of the team's leading transplant surgeons, Jean-Michel Dubernard, has accused some media of "odious" coverage of the case. However, he also has said the recipient would receive royalties from selling images of her new face, in a deal set up by one of his friends, reports the AP. N.U.

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