Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Donate your face? Thoughtful replies
Thanks for all your responses to our question about whether or not you would donate your face. I read the many comments published in response. There were some really thoughtful ones, and a few funny ones as well. A lot of people asked questions about my book, but I'll blog about that some other time. In case you didn't see the show last night, we've started reading some of your blog comments on the air, so keep them coming.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 8:07 AM ET
  53 Comments
I saw the show last night, Anderson. I thought it was very kind of you to read some of the comments posted by your viewers. It shows us that you really do care about what we have to say.

I, for one, can't wait to hear more about "Dispatches.."...I've already got it on pre-order.

Thanks for all you do!
Posted By Anonymous Ally, Sequim, Washington : 8:55 AM ET
AC,

I love this new blog! I have been watching since the days when you were the fill in guy late night on CNN. I used to watch while doing my thesis. It has been interesting to watch the progression of your career. I can't wait to hear more about your book!

I am an organ donor and believe in donating anything that will help a living human being. I think the face is a fine line though and it makes me wonder what else they will start transplanting. I would stop short of dontating my eyes. What happens if the body rejects the new parts of the face, like when the body rejects an organ?
Posted By Anonymous Sawrah A., Boston, MA : 9:15 AM ET
The AC 360 BLOG is the best entertainment around. The comments on this subject were quite thoughtful. It takes the "news" to a new level. I'm still fasinated by the power of today's technology on our society. I must admit, I'm hooked.
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl Raleigh, NC : 9:36 AM ET
I have to tell you that I now have an image of myself or a loved in a coffin without a face.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Butler, PA : 9:41 AM ET
Goodmorning Mr. Cooper,
I am yet to see one of my comments published on your blog page. Hope this one makes it.
Talking about donating my face, I think it comes down to one's cultural values. As much as I support advancements in medical practices, donating my face sounds a little bit bizzare. That notwithstanding, I hope to live long on this planet before I die. So who will need a face of an 80 year old man? Sure no one.

Humphrey
Posted By Anonymous Humphrey, Charlotte, NC : 9:51 AM ET
Wow, you get up early for someone who works till midnight. Impressive!

I am one of those in favor of donating my face if it were needed. I can see how others would be concerned about the psychological effects that might have on family members, but I would hope that they'd be able to put those feelings aside and remember how much it would be helping the recipient. I think the magnitude of that far outweighs having to have a closed casket. And if it ever came down to it, I think my family would be proud of me.
Posted By Anonymous AM, Piscataway, NJ : 9:51 AM ET
Did see the show and thanks for reading the responses. Yes, please blog about your upcoming book. Isn't it due for release on June 6th? You not done YET!!! (just kidding no pressure)
Posted By Anonymous Rachel-Albuquerque, NM : 9:56 AM ET
I don't think the woman was a good canidate for donating her face seeing that she is still smoking despite the risk factors. The surgeons should have never entertained a woman that could care less about her own health and now she has the miracle of another's body part and could care less about that with Nicotine! I think you should not entertain this story much longer and should do a follow up with a story that touched our hearts. Sago Mine Disaster. You provided wonderful coverage unlike any other story we've seen. The young woman and her children need to be commended as well as yourself AC.
Posted By Anonymous Thomas D. Buckhannon WV : 10:01 AM ET
Thanks Anderson for reading some of the blogs on air...it gives us bloggers a true feeling of being apart of your program and the topic that is being discussed on the program at the time.
Look forward to your show this evening..and please when you can let us know about your book...thanks!
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Dartmouth, N.S. Canada : 10:08 AM ET
I meant to say "loved one". Anyhow - what a visual...thanks.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Butler, PA : 10:11 AM ET
Anderson,

Thank-you for responding to your viewers. Everyone would like their opinion to be heard; especially by you. Thanks for caring enough to read them. Your thoughtfulness is setting you apart; it's truly part of your gift that you're sharing with us through your journalism. You are keeping the standards high. Thanks.

Lisa V.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa V, Des Plaines, IL : 10:12 AM ET
Why not donate your face too? It's really just skin. Once it's graphed on the recipient, it will take on their bone structure, etc.
I plan on being cremated, so why dont let other people benefit from what will be lost anyway.
Your physical body is just a container for the soul.
Posted By Anonymous Mary, Chicago, IL : 10:19 AM ET
Why is donating your face any different than donating your heart or a kidney? Your face is just cells and tissues like any other organ of the body. Donating a face becomes an issue for us because we see people as what they are on the outside instead of what they are inside.
Posted By Anonymous Patricia Stafford, Lancaster, PA : 10:21 AM ET
The blog is a great idea! I have to admit that until I rediscovered you and CNN during Katrina, I had completely given up getting news from TV and relied entirely on blogs and news forums on the internet. Thanks for blending the two and giving us all a chance to be heard. Also looking forward to your book!
Posted By Anonymous Anne, Cedar Rapids, IA : 10:24 AM ET
Anderson, I really enjoy 360. I used to watch you on Channel One when I was in middle school. Channel One sparked my interest in journalism. In high school, I watched you on ABC World News Now during many all-nighters. Now, just a few years later, I am news reporter at Texas A&M University´┐Żs student newspaper, The Battalion. You are the kind of passionate and open journalist that I aspire to be. Thanks for existing.
Posted By Anonymous Steven, College Station, Texas : 10:26 AM ET
I watched the show last night and it was nice that you read what people wrote. I heard what people said and I know what I would do. I am an organ donor and i would hope that if someone needed what i had they could use it. I am not going to need it any more. My family would be happy that I would be giving someone a chance to be normal.
Posted By Anonymous Kristen Casto, Charleston WV : 10:32 AM ET
I am an Organ Donor, but doctors would never use my organs. I was diagnosed with bone cancer at 13, I cannot even give blood, but I wish I could. If it ment life or even the hope for a happy, normal exhistance I would want them to take anything they could use ,even my face.
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie Weinstein Fairburn , Georgia : 10:34 AM ET
I have to admit, I started watching last night's program thinking "Ewwww", and by the end of the segment, changed to thinking "Hmmmmm".

You and your guests raised interesting and provocative questions--cultural, medical, and psychological (both for the potential donor and family members).
I agree with the comment about how much of our identity is linked to our facial image, but when I'm gone, I hope my friends and family remember me as much for my good deeds...so if being an organ donor--corneas, skin, kidneys, whatever else--are part of those "good deeds", that's OK by me. Altruism overcomes squeamishness any day.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, NYC. : 10:36 AM ET
Good Morning Anderson,

I actually listen to your show on Sirius radio at night, last nights was very interesting. I must admit sometimes I fall asleep before the show is over, but then I read the transcripts of what I missed the next day. That was cool that you read some peoples comments from the blog last night, I was thinking is he going to read mine????? Your guest last night brought up an interesting question on whether or not the face translpant recipient was a good first choice. My only thing is, it is like is got a new lease on life, and yes it has been a stressful time in her life, but why??? Start smoking again???? That baffles me!
I am very interested in reading your book! You make the news interesting. You make learning fun! And this blog is a great place to visit on my break and lunch to read other peoples opinion and points of view!

Anderson your up early today...did you catch the worm??? :)
Posted By Anonymous Laura, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada : 10:36 AM ET
Wow, you sure are blogging early today...

You engaged me during 9/11 coverage, and I've enjoyed you and the thoughtful, direct questions you ask covering the news ever since. You frequently ask the very questions I'm wondering about just as you pose it. During Katrina, I wrote you b/c I so appreciate your sensitivity combined with asking the tough questions that are too often glossed over in today's news world. I was with you all night during the WV miners tragedy and thought you were amazing.

While I find all your story coverage interesting, I would hate to see AC360 become a feature show (like Larry King, Paula Zahn, or Nancy Grace) instead of a news show, which it seems to be leaning towards of late.

It is vitally important to have correspondents like you and Christiane Amanpour who ask those tough questions and tell us the true story and get real reactions on national and international stories.

Although the face transplant story is fascinating and thoughtful and the mother/baby murder-husband in Enland has international implications, I would appreciate seeing more on the surveillance hearings, even related to the free speech issues around the world. With the Coretta Scott King coverage, could we also discuss renewal of the Voting Rights Act, for which Dr. MLK fought so hard? It's up for renewal now, so that seems particularly relevant.

I don't want to see your show morph into a single-focus show (unless it is a major breaking news event, e.g. the border tunnel) or a feature show, instead of the multiple news stories with depth that makes it so much more provacative.

For the record, I don't believe that I am my body, so what happens to it after I die doesn't affect my spirit, which continues on. My concern is the black market possibilities for organ donations, and I wonder to what degree that already exists in the current systems? There's a story angle...
Take care, Anderson, and keep being you, ~N~
Posted By Anonymous -Nioshii- NYC/ATL : 10:37 AM ET
At first the thought of donating my face seemed a little odd to me. Then I asked myself: if I had serious facial deformities, would I want someone else's donated face? The answer is yes. Call me shallow, but I want a face that won't scare my five year-old daughter.

I think that if a person is willing to take a donated face, they should also be willing to donate their own face.

I believe that my soul, my personality and my actions are what make me unique, not my face.

I would donate my face to help someone else live a richer, more meaningful life.
Posted By Anonymous Andrea, Stoney Creek, ON : 11:04 AM ET
A.C.,
Good morning. Is it possible to be addicted to blogging???? As a nurse I am pro organ donation. I have seen first hand how it changes lives not only for those who recieve, but those families who donate. I say if someone can benefit from my mug let them have it. After all it may look better on them then me. All I need is my eyes to see where I am headed after I leave this world.
Posted By Anonymous ginger, colby , kansas : 11:09 AM ET
hey Anderson,

I watch your show almost every night and its really inspiring to see how much dedication you put into each story...so keep up the great work!

I would donate my face if it means helping someone else who really needs it. But with all the psychological effects it may cause to the recipient is it really a good idea?
Posted By Anonymous A. Mavi, Toronto, ON : 11:19 AM ET
Anderson, thank you so much for the blogs. Wow, when do you sleep? Can't wait for your book -- I've pre-ordered it, too. I love your show, the combination of breaking news, and human interest stories. Thanks so much for all your hard work.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Boulder, Colorado : 11:22 AM ET
Perhaps the only way to decide if you would donate your face when you are dead is to be in the position to need one when you are alive.
Posted By Anonymous Marian, New London, MO : 11:26 AM ET
OH, I missed your show last night. I dozed during Larry King Live (no offense Larry it was the sudafed).
I wondered if you ever went back and read the comments. Some of them were very interesting...
Posted By Anonymous Christy from Ga : 11:26 AM ET
Interesting story. Although I wonder why the docs in France didn't use conventional plastic surgery and reconstructive procedures to rebuild this woman's face with her own tissues. She is now faced (no pun intended) with a life-long regime of immunosuppressive drugs which in themselves can have serious side-effects not to mention she will be a favorable host to many infections that may come her way. I am an organ donor, and should someone want my face, they can have it. I won't be needing it when I'm dead. Like another blogger, I wish to be cremated anyway. Besides, perhaps someone out there will have a new appreciation for my big mouth!
Posted By Anonymous Jen, Red Lake, Ontario : 11:28 AM ET
Very cool, AC! Thanks so much for being in touch with your audience. Nice to know you are not one of those pundits... You care.
Posted By Anonymous Kenny, Sacramento, California : 11:32 AM ET
Why not donate my face and save someone else's ruined life? I'm not using it any more. . .it's no different than donating skin from another part of my body. It seems selfish to be concerned about how I look in my casket when someone else could be helped. (I am an organ donor.)
Posted By Anonymous Joan, Boston MA : 11:39 AM ET
I intend to be cremated anyway, so they can take anything useful off me before they do it.
Posted By Anonymous B. Jackson, New Castle, DE : 11:40 AM ET
Good morning Mr. Cooper,
I posted on the face transplant the show brought out alot who knows with the technology in medicine what will happen someday but I'm all for it anything to help. I have suffered alot in my life and know that with the new approaches today my life would have been much easier from a medical standpoint.
Cant wait for the book to be published.
You are developing a following myself included for your rare honest reporting come hell or high water You do keep them honest. So I know the book will be thought provoking, entertaining and an all around good read. I would suggest to anyone to read your column in Details, absolutely awesome.
Keep up the good work
Blessings
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Erwin, TN : 11:46 AM ET
I just finished reading the book "STIFF" by Mary Roach. It discusses the uses of donated bodies. I think that all the good that has come from body donation far outways my own vanity of remaining as I see myself. I have spent my whole life changing myself thru various haircuts and colors etc.. why not let someone use whatever they can to make their life better.
Posted By Anonymous Laura Austin, TX : 11:48 AM ET
I imagine that anyone who has been badly disfigured probably doesn't recognize much of themselves in the mirror anyway, so I'm not convinced it would be much harder to get used to someone else's undisfigured one.

I intend to donate all my organs upon my death, and if that includes my face, I'm happy to do it. It may be the most important thing I do in my entire life.
Posted By Anonymous Liz, Brookyn NY : 12:11 PM ET
I have done a lot of thinking about this subject since you brought it up Mon. Since I want to be cremated, if someone can use a part of me to stay alive, why not. I have always been one to help out others when I can.
It looks like you will be making another trip to the Gulf. A shame things can't get straightened out down there. Some of the excuses for not getting things done is abit hard to take. If anyone can help, it will be you. Keep them honest Anderson.
Posted By Anonymous Jean, St. Charles, Mo. : 12:13 PM ET
I saw last night's show this morning at 1:00 AM. I was surprised to learn the the recipient was a heavy smoker, but evidently the other circumstances made the procedure viable.

Your attention to what the bloggers have to say is appreciated. It's very enlightening to hear the various viewpoints on a story.

As requested by Nioshii (above), I too would like more coverage on free speech issues, as well as human rights issues - but with the emphasis on the problems in the US, and possible means of resolution.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 12:14 PM ET
You and Dr. Gupta raised a very interesting dilemma last night for those of us in the healthcare field.
For myself, broaching the issue of organ donation to grieving loved ones is a very sensitive and difficult thing to do, but it's importance and potential life-saving impact far outweighs my personal difficulty in doing so.
How do we now incorporate the potential of taking a loved ones face as part of that organ donation process? I fear we will now see a greater number of organ donor refusals.
Don't have any answers at this moment to this one, I would be interested to hear what you, Dr. Gupta and others feel would be the most sensitive approach.
Anderson-you are doing a great job! Very thoughtful, provocative insight and tenacity on social issues when other medias no longer seem interested in the truth.
Posted By Anonymous Allyson Chicago, Il. : 12:19 PM ET
Anderson: Love the "Blog" concept and the opportunity to provide my comments. Just wondering if you will let some of us dedicated "360 Bloggers" preview your book before it's officially in the bookstores. You know, instead of the Oprah Book Club, it could be the 360 Degree Book Club!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, Michigan : 12:23 PM ET
Anderson,
Before I watched your show last night I did not have a problem with the idea of a face transplant. I guess I never thought of the burial proccess and how it would effect the family at the viewing. Once agian you give us a lot to think about. The effect on the family at the funeral, the possibility of the body regecting the face,the effect on the family seeing your face on someone else... Thank you for showing all the views of a face transplant and not just one.

Thank you for all your hard work!!
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Lexington Ky : 12:26 PM ET
Like the 80 year old man, I am the owner of an OLD face that I'm sure nobody would realy want. However, were I younger, and should die, I would want any part, including my face to be of some use toward improving the life of someone else. My feeling is that my body is the equivalent of an empty house once someone has moved out, and consequently what parts are used makes no difference. A closed casket is an easy answer. I would hope that the last memory of my face was when I was alive and smiling, anyway.
Posted By Anonymous J. Elizabeth Friedman, San Diego, CA : 12:29 PM ET
Yesterday spent time with mom, got her caught-up on the news on CNN.com. One of them we talked about face transplant. We both decided not to donate our faces, for our religions reasons. And far as the killing of mother & child in MA, we both agree that it's so wrong, and want the world has come to if a husband (if it's him) can kill an mother/child (being 9 months old)in bed (if that's where they were killed). It just seems like the world is spinning out of control.
Much thanks on our continuing coverage of "Keeping them Honest". If you don't who will??!?!?!
Gracias AC! ;-) 10:34 am MDT
Posted By Anonymous Alicia, Parker (daughter), Mary Lou (mother), Thornton CO : 12:33 PM ET
Gutentag, Anderson! I'm glad we can still comment on this face-thingy. I feel so bad for the lady with someone else's face in that she lost her own. Maybe I would donate my face afterall, if it meant that someone else could have a better quality of life. But, I'm so pale, who's skin would ever be a match with mine? Hmm... All this talk about what I might or might not do with my dead body is, well, really creepy...
Posted By Anonymous Cathy Tavernier, Orange, CA : 12:42 PM ET
This is off topic, but since many are interested -- Anderson's book, "Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival" is scheduled to be released June 5, 2006. I have no doubt it is a memoir, since there is stong evidence that Anderson was actually in the midst of wars and disasters.
Posted By Anonymous Mira, Grosse Pointe, MI : 12:49 PM ET
I'm sorry to say I missed your show - won't happen again! I would definitely give the thought to donating my face. Unfortunately, I've spent so much time, energy and money trying to change it, I can't for the life of me figure out who would want it. If it's not good enough for me, I can't imagine anyone else being happy to get it!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy, Milwaukee, WI : 1:05 PM ET
Would you donate YOUR face?
Posted By Anonymous Pim, Los Angeles, CA : 1:06 PM ET
There is some controversy over whether or not tissue donation was really the best way to proceed for the French patient you reported on last night. How often would such a procedure REALLY be necessary after all? How much skin grafting was done (or could be done) in such a case before resorting to transplantation? (Maybe I should forward this to Dr. Gupta...) Anyway, it is wonderful to think we have such technology at our disposal, should it become necessary. I am having a hard time believing that a dog would chew up an owner's face like that unless it was a provoked attack. Especially a laborador! How unusual.
Posted By Anonymous Jen, Raleigh NC : 1:17 PM ET
I missed last night's show on the face transplant, but am going to read the transcript. Right now, I don't have a problem with donating any part of me in order to help someone else live a better life. I can't say how I will feel next year or the year after. I have no problem with having a closed casket or even being cremated if the procedure were to be done. The viewing of a person's body at a funeral home is not as important as helping someone else to live a full and complete life. I can't wait to read your book. You are my favorite reporter/anchor/and now author! I love all your articles in the Details magazine, which btw... when are you going to have another one in the mag.? Take care and keep up the fantastic work.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Campbellsville, Kentucky : 1:26 PM ET
Responding to the show and the blog from yesterday i'm still unsure about the face donating. I really can't imagine my face that i've "grown" with on someone else, it just seems a little too weird to me.
Posted By Anonymous Cristina, Houston, TX : 1:28 PM ET
Anderson,
I have to say that I would donate my skin, however gross I think that is. I am an organ donor as well and think nothing of that, however have visions of the movie "Coma" from time to time.
enjoy the blog, love the show! keep it up!!
Posted By Anonymous Kat Haley, Port St. Lucie, Florida : 1:28 PM ET
Mr.Cooper,
You post your blog at 8:07 AM, when do you sleep? I would like to know, are you an organ donor?
Posted By Anonymous N. Ramkumar,Bayside, New York : 1:29 PM ET
Every person who is able should be a donor. There are never enough to go around and as someone said in an earlier blog, if you would sign up to receive, you should first have signed up to donate. I won't be using my body once am gone from this earth and if those parts can help another live a better life, so be it. My generation has been wittness to many significant events in history and wittness to medical technology making great leaps. Perhaps this is the reason why I feel this is a no brainer. Forget the moral issue of what the donor's family will think about the face of their loved on on some stranger- instead, try to see the great improvement in quality of life for the recipient who now can lead a normal life free of social exile. This is reason enough for me to say- go ahead and take what you need once I am done.
Posted By Anonymous Jory , Helena, Montana : 1:32 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
Throughout my 40 year career as an Operating Room RN I was involved in the harvest of organs from a donor and the transplant procedfure also. The transplant gave me feelings of exhillaration and the harvest left me empty. The eternal life of the soul was not part of my belief system at the time and the death of anyone made me feel empty.
I am way beyond the acceptable donor age, but, I would gladly donate my face if the wrinkles would be perceived as wisdom instead of old age.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn, Michigan : 1:35 PM ET
Dr. Gupta,

When you have your health, you really do have everything. My daughter was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease (MELAS) about 8 years ago at the age of 5. What a shock that was! The majority of the population has not heard of these diseases. Frequency of these "type" of diseases are largely underdiagnosed and carry a vast array of symptoms.
Posted By Anonymous Russ Charleston, Chicago IL : 1:36 PM ET
AC 360 is probably the only show that, in my opinion, that makes a genuine effort to reach out to its audience and engage it. This blog is just icing on the cake.
Posted By Anonymous Alex Matovsky, Toronto, ON : 2:58 PM ET
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