Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Facial allograft transplants: where’s the catch?
  1. B E White1,
  2. I Brassington2
  1. 1
    Medical Student, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2
    CSEP/iSEI, School of Law, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Dr I Brassington, CSEP/iSEI, School of Law, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK; iain.brassington{at}


Face transplantation—or, more properly, facial allograft transplantation (FAT)—generates much public interest and academic debate. In this paper, we suggest that it is up to opponents of FAT to make the case for its impermissibility. We allow that there is a number of apparently strong arguments that might be deployed against FAT. However, all but one of these turn out not to be compelling after examination. The remaining argument is not so easily dismissed—but its central point is fairly workaday and certainly does not tell us anything about FAT in particular. Therefore, qua argument about facial transplant surgery, it fails to hit its target. Overall, we conclude that a compelling case against FAT remains to be made.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: None.