[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 00:52 GMT
'I don't want a face transplant'
Marc Crank is very happy with the way he looks
The Royal College of Surgeons has urged doctors not to carry out face transplants.

Marc Crank, 34, tells the BBC why he would not consider having the operation.

Mark, who lives in Stoke on Trent, was diagnosed with a condition called neurofibromatosis when he was just 18 months old.

It causes tumours on his face and head. He has had numerous operations to remove the tumours and repair the damage they have caused to bones.

The condition has left him with what he describes as a distinctive face.

Nevertheless, he says he has no intention of ever having a face transplant should surgeons start offering them.

I don't think there is anything about my appearance that I would desperately want to change
"I don't think there is anything about my appearance that I would desperately want to change," he says.

Mark, who runs a charity called Disability Solutions, is not completely against the surgery.

He believes it could have significant benefits for people who have suffered major trauma to their face.

"Face transplants are tremendously exciting in terms of the reconstructive possibilities for people who have had very traumatic facial disfigurements maybe through accidents or through illness and where they have lost a lot of function in their face.

"If a face transplant can replace some of that function, can actually give them back the usability of their face, without the need for long and very painful skin grafts etc, then I think that is a very exciting prospect.

Changing attitudes

"However, the flip side is when face transplants are advocated for purely aesthetic reasons.

"That is where I would have to say I am completely against the idea.

"For me the best way of moving forward with disfigurement is through acceptance.

"It's not about changing my face its about changing people's attitude to my face.

"It doesn't really matter whether my face looks the same as everyone else's or not.

I feel people are being denied the option to live with their face, however different it is.
"It's a rather clichéd or trite thing to say but it is the person inside who matters."

Mark said people with facial disfigurements should not be forced to have face transplants if they become available.

"In terms of face transplants, I feel people are being denied the option to live with their face, however different it is.

"Many people with disfigurements are happy. They have well-adjusted lives. They don't want to change their face that much.

"I find it abhorrent that society is saying your face doesn't fit so you have to change it.

"You have to have a face of somebody else, a dead person's face even, just so that you will fit my picture or my perfect model of what a human should look like.

"I think that is totally unacceptable."


SEE ALSO:
Report on face transplants due
19 Nov 03  |  Health
Face transplants 'now possible'
11 Nov 03  |  Health


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific