Monday, February 06, 2006
Would you donate your face?
Hope you all had a good weekend. I spent most of mine in a self-imposed news blackout. I'm finishing up a book I've been writing, and am already past my deadline.

We had our morning editorial call early today, and there was a lot of discussion about the French face transplant recipient. I get pretty squeamish watching surgeries, but I find this procedure fascinating. The fact that once you have the transplant you won't look quite like yourself, but you also won't look like the person whose skin you're getting, raises some provocative issues.

For example, if this surgery becomes more common, all of us are going to be confronted with the question: Would you be willing to donate your face when you die? It's an interesting question. Several people in our office who are organ donors weren't sure they'd be willing to go that far. I'm not sure how I feel. Logically, it's no different than donating an organ, right? Nevertheless, I find it tough to think about.

I'd be interested to read some of your thoughts.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 12:34 PM ET
  188 Comments
I can't explain why, but as comfortable (or used to the idea) as I feel donating any other organ - donating my face is something I can't quite wrap my mind around. I know I sound hopelessly vain, but I can't imagine parting with my face.
Posted By Anonymous Milena, Ft. Lauderdale, FL : 12:46 PM ET
I'm perplexed by people who would donate more important (to bodily survival) organs but feel funny about the 'sanctity' of their face. Then again, I'm an identical twin and don't have so much ego invested in the uniqueness of my face, perhaps.

Odd when you consider how many people embrace cosmetic surgery to make themselves look different. Perhaps the 'would consider cosmetic surgery' people and the 'not sure I'd donate my face' people are non-overlapping sets?
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 12:56 PM ET
I want to keep everything just as long as I possibly can. I might need all of it where I'm going, face included.
Posted By Anonymous Ellee, Fargo, ND : 12:57 PM ET
I'm an organ donor but I don't think I could go that far either. It is one thing to have someone walking around with your kidney, lung, even heart and eyes. But I think its different to have them walking around with your face.

A lot of times when a loved one dies, those left behind "see" their face in the crowd quite often. If their face had been donated, it may not be their imagination.

Just seems to "personal" to me.

Good luck with your book, Anderson.
Posted By Anonymous Cheri - Juneau, Alaska : 12:57 PM ET
I am not sure how I would feel about donating my face for transplant; it seems very strange. Considering all the horror stories of organs and tissues that are taken each year and sold illegally, does it really matter once you are dead. It's not like the deceased will miss what they do not have.
Posted By Anonymous Angie, St. Louis, MO : 12:58 PM ET
Donating your face is somewhat different than donating your heart. Nobody sees your heart. Not many of us are so proud of our face that we want it to stick around. In my mind it is hard to think about the possibility of someone thinking that the recipient looks better with my face than I did.
Posted By Anonymous Phil Kinnamon - Poteau, OK : 1:00 PM ET
I watched the press conference today & I'm an organ donor myself, but I don't think I'd donate my face. But on the other hand, I guess I'd probably be really grateful if I had a terrible accident and would need one... So I agree, it's a really hard issue to think about...
Posted By Anonymous Judith Schaffrath, Neuhaus, Germany : 1:04 PM ET
Why not donate any part of you that can help another living human being? What does it matter what you take to the grave? It all turns to dust. A face is no different than anything else.
Posted By Anonymous Penny, Gaithersburg, MD : 1:04 PM ET
I won't be needing my face once I die, so I'm all for someone else having it. But they'll have a face that the other kids used to call "Apeface" when I was in junior high! My face serves me very well now, though.

But it would be nice if the person getting my face would also get a short note from me, describing my life and times living with that face. There's something much more personal about a face than other organs.
Posted By Anonymous newyorkette, ny, NY : 1:04 PM ET
What a fascinating procedure! And yet it truly does bring up some ethical and interesting issues.... You're right, Anderson, in that logically it is no different than donating an organ. However, perhaps the question to think about would be what would your family members think? Most funerals I have been to have been open-casket; I'm thinking that with this, it would have to be closed-casket. Although this is one of the first things that comes to mind, I know this is not the only issue. It requires quite a bit of thought and research for me. But personally, I'd have to think about whether or not I'd donate my face.... or the flip side: would I want someone to donate their face for me? Hmmmm.
Posted By Anonymous Nadia, Los Angeles, CA : 1:06 PM ET
hello anderson!
i cant wait to read your book. the difference between donating your "Face" and donating an organ is that your face is something you have to deal with all the time and worry about and espeically for women its an issue from the time of birth how you look how your represented and people tend to judge others on the appearance of their face where as with organs people dont tend to spend much of their time thinking about how their liver or spleen is on any given day. and psychologically it would have crazy effects on you and would probably change your personality if you had a different face.
Posted By Anonymous stefanie, new york city, new york : 1:08 PM ET
First, good luck with your writing - I know how it feels. Hang on there, you'll be there. Look forward to reading it.

Would I donate my face when I die? Sure, but, according to my current health profile and lifestyle, I would be able to live up to 3 digits age. Who would want to have my face then?
Posted By Anonymous V. A. Churchill, Houston, Texas : 1:11 PM ET
I myself am an organ donor and I would donate my face. I'm dead right? Why not. Now who wants it is another interesting question...
Posted By Anonymous Rachel-Albuquerque, NM : 1:14 PM ET
Hi Anderson:

I guess the thought of someone going around with part of my face is a little strange. However, I have seen people with severe facial burns, and like you said, it is just another form of organ donation so I would agree to the donation.
I love your show.
Posted By Anonymous Annette, Atlanta GA : 1:15 PM ET
That is quite a lot to get your mind around. I'm an organ donor and I would want to help someone. I guess if I'm at the point where I could give my face away...I'm dead...so does it matter to me? No. I would do it.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Butler, PA : 1:21 PM ET
Why not, I'm already dead if any part of me is still good and would help someone less fortunate then as we say in Texas Holdem i'm all in......
Posted By Anonymous C.Flosse Toronto, Canada : 1:22 PM ET
I would not be willing to donate my face. That is something very personal that makes me me. I would not want my family members to have to go to town and chance running into someone looking like me to strike up old memories. Or chance my kidsseeing my face on someone else, especially if they were young. I definetly wouldn't do it, but am more than willing to donate internal organs when I die.
Posted By Anonymous Christy L. LaGrange, GA : 1:22 PM ET
I have been listed as an organ donor for years. After hearing about the prospect of losing my face because I'm an organ donor, I have changed my mind. I told my co-workers and family that unless I say otherwise, I no longer want to be an organ donor. I never even liked the thought of them harvesting tissue/skin for burn victims but I eventually accepted that as a possibility. I just don't have it in my yet to relinquish my face (not that anyone would want it...).
Posted By Anonymous Joyce Roberts, Rantoul, IL : 1:22 PM ET
I don't think I would donate my face. My internal organs are up for grabs, but my face represents me in a uniquely personal way, and I would be uncomfortable donating that part of myself.
Posted By Anonymous Renee Robare, Savannah, GA : 1:23 PM ET
I would absolutely donate my face. As an organ donor, I have already agreed to donating everything else, and the skin is one of the largest organs we have. My soul leaves my body when I die, and if any part of the shell that is left behind can help another person live a productive life, then he or she (or they)are welcome to it.
Posted By Anonymous Karen Verryt, Matthews, NC : 1:23 PM ET
I would absolutely donate my face. Anything I could do to improve someone else's life would make me so happy! My dad and sister recently died from complications of cancer (different cancers!). If someone could have helped them so that my family would not be in this tremendous state of grief right now, I would be so grateful to them for their selflessness. As far as I'm concerned, after I've died, all that's left on this earth is the shell that once held my soul, which has already moved on to a better place. I won't be needing my organs or any other part of my "shell" once I get to that better place. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Jill, Las Vegas, Nevada : 1:23 PM ET
I'm an organ donor and happy to be one. I would be more than willing to donate my face in the event of my death, I wouldn't have any further use for it anyway. The drawback is that someone may, one day, be stuck with my less than GQ qualities.
Posted By Anonymous David, Dover Delaware : 1:24 PM ET
Would I be interested in donating my face? Nah. No one would want it.
Posted By Anonymous Paul Souza, Jericho, VT : 1:24 PM ET
I am on both sides of the fence on this one. the reason we choose to donate body parts is because they are critically needed for survival but face parts? i have to disagree...let's just leave it to body parts for now.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Ontario, Canada : 1:24 PM ET
I would gladly give anything to help another, even my face. If I'm dead I'm certainly not going to need it, so why not help someone in need?
Posted By Anonymous Amanda Pjerrou Modesto, CA : 1:24 PM ET
Sure I would be willing to donate my face. First of all I will be dead; what do I care if someone is walking around looking like me? I DO care ahead of time that I will have gone on to help someone out there who needs a face!

Second of all, it is very doubtful in my mind that the donated face actually looks like the person who donated it after it is donated. Surely the bone structure of the recipient will determine how the skin is shaped above. So there will not really be a "me" walking around anyway. Think of your donated "face" like sod grass that is taken from one place and moved to another. Some new spots will be flat, some sloped, some hilly etc. Only the texture of the sod (or in this case the skin of the donated face) will be the same as it was on the original face. The face shape will be entirely different.
Posted By Anonymous T. Moore, Orinda, Ca : 1:25 PM ET
No I personally would not donate my face. Donating an organ in an internal mechanism used to ensure your body is running correctly. Donating a face is handing over your identity. There's helping others, then there's going too far.
Posted By Anonymous Domenic, Toronto, Ontario : 1:25 PM ET
its a touchy subject i would give my face in the field of science ill be gone and there will be no need to have it anymore. i am an organ donor and would be will to help other out even after my death
Posted By Anonymous brian ford angola indiana : 1:25 PM ET
Coop,

I don't think that I could do this. Not to mention I don't think anyone else would want my mug! It be weird seeing a friend or a family members face on someone else after that person died.
Posted By Anonymous Paul Sandoval, Los Angeles CA : 1:26 PM ET
I'd have to say there is really no difference between this and organ donation except for 1 possibility: there are people that would want to do this for cosmetic reasons rather than physical ones. Are we ready as a society to say no to that? And enforce it?

Can't wait to read the book...when can we expect it???
Posted By Anonymous Sandi, New York, NY : 1:27 PM ET
Hi Anderson;
As an organ donor myself. I can't imagine why it would matter to other donors which pieces/parts of the body might be used to help others. Regardless of the means by which one's 'shell'is be disposed of after death, doesn't it just make good old fashioned horse sense to allow others left on this spinning blue orb to make use of what they can?
Posted By Anonymous Melissa Sundberg, Missoula MT : 1:27 PM ET
I find myself wondering... what will the black market be like for attractive faces?
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Philadelphia, PA : 1:27 PM ET
I don't see any reason why a person who is a registered organ donor would be unwilling to donate their face. The whole point of being an organ donar is to help others. The only problem I would have with that is if it was not going to be used for accident or burn victims. If somebody has a normal face but just has low self esteem and wants my skin I might have to think twice about that.
Posted By Anonymous Matt Spartanburg, SC : 1:27 PM ET
I would be willing just because it may save another person's life. I'm sure that there are many cases of depression leading to suicide amongst disfigured individuals. If I could help eliminate that feeling of depression in one person and make them feel better for themselves, it would totally be worth it.

Alex
Posted By Anonymous Alex, Ottawa Canada : 1:27 PM ET
Hello Anderson,

Its a very interesting and mind-blowing subject! The skin is in fact the body's heaviest organ, with a mass of 4-5 kg, and a total surface area of about 1.2-2.2 m2. So, like you say, it would be no different than donating an organ.

However, if I were to decide to donate my organs, especially my skin, my immediate concern thereafter would be my family and friends at the funeral. It would be very hard to inflict them additional emotional pain if they couldn't have an open casket to pay their last respects knowing its because of the donation. I feel its still a hard decision for me but just regarding the people that love me. I would love to donate in order to save somebody else's life or making somebody's life easier. I guess we should talk about this with our family and friends and know where everybody stands on this issue. Thank you for bringing it up. I am eager waiting to hear other comments! Thank you
Posted By Anonymous Magu, Arlington Virginia : 1:27 PM ET
I am already an organ donor. Don't think I would donate my face though. Although it is an intresting idea, I think it would be weird for my children. Just weird.
Posted By Anonymous Alisa Clarksville, TN : 1:28 PM ET
A face transplant isn't a life-saving procedure, so no. But I am a registered organ donor, because it does save lives.
Posted By Anonymous Bill, DC : 1:28 PM ET
i would donate my face so that the legacy of my beautiful face can live on a little longer after i'm gone.
Posted By Anonymous ryan, fredericksburg, VA : 1:28 PM ET
I would donate any and all tissue and organs as a donor. After all, I'll have no use for them, and the facial tissue will not be recognizable as my own anyway.

I think such surgeries should be allowed for a variety of reasons ranging from the obvious (reconstructive) to those with less well understood implications (witness protection). I think the criminal potential should not be ignored, though such surgery requires major technical expertise beyond the resources of criminal organizations at the moment (this will likely change int he future). Finally, it occurs to me that this surgery might be an interesting option for gender reassignment candidates; I haven't heard much about the controversies here.
Posted By Anonymous Phil Smith, Atlanta, GA : 1:29 PM ET
I would donate my face, but I seriously had to think about it at first. My first reaction was being horrified, but ultimately, is any of our muscle, bone and flesh different than the other. If a person was burned over 70% of their body and needed the skin, would we not donate for a skin graft? It is no different for a face that has been taken away by a tragic accident. I am a total body donor and will remain one.
Posted By Anonymous Ken Naylor, Alexandria, VA : 1:30 PM ET
I'd give my whole body, including my face. What am I going to do with it after I'm gone? Recycle as much as possible and if someone needs my face I just hope they use it to smile as soon as they are able.
Posted By Anonymous Sabrina, Vero Beach Florida : 1:30 PM ET
Yes, I would donate my face to save another.
Posted By Anonymous Hailey Nickerson, Saint John, NB Canada : 1:30 PM ET
Anderson, yes that is a tough one to think about, but I think organ donation is such a wonderful way to give back to someone. What I might have a hard time with, not as the donor, but as a family member of someone who did donate their face, is that your loved one wouldn't have a face when they are buried. I don't give much thought to an organ, but a face is so personal. I just lost my Dad and I can't imagine someone else walking around with his face. A noble cause for sure for those who decide to do it. Have a great one!
Posted By Anonymous Carol, Richmond, VA : 1:30 PM ET
Donating an organ is much less personal than donating a face. Organs are not visible to us and therefore we don't have much emotional attachment. A face is very different though. It is something that defines who we are. Even just donating skin isn't as big a deal, because skin by itself does not identify us. A face however, is something unique to each of us.
Posted By Anonymous Sean, New York NY : 1:30 PM ET
Anderson, the question is "who would take it?" What if they said "no thanks"?
Posted By Anonymous Pat Hogan, Rockford, IL : 1:30 PM ET
Yes, I would, what is the difference in a organ and other parts of your body if they can help someone live a more productive life. If you are a true believer in organ donation then any part of your body that can help some other person should not be a problem.
Posted By Anonymous Dennis, Dallas, Texas : 1:31 PM ET
I would definitely donate my face. As unhappy with it as I can be from day to day, it does its job and when I die, I'm pretty sure I won't need the flesh and the muscle. At the same time, the pictures of the face transplant victim are a bit jarring since it looks like there is part of somebody's face sitting on top of hers.
Posted By Anonymous Allison, Atlanta, GA : 1:31 PM ET
Yes... I would be willing to donate my face when I die... If someone else can use ...why not?
Posted By Anonymous Amanda , CA : 1:31 PM ET
funerals are for the living. i would not want to deny my family the sense of closure they would feel by seeing me in a casket..If I had no family it would be a different matter
Posted By Anonymous jack I. highland, ny : 1:32 PM ET
Anderson,
I too am an organ donor but would be a little squeemish when it comes to donating other parts of your body. I think though for people who are going to be cremated after organ donation it shouldn't matter and it if helps someone in severe need like this woman in France we should give it a second thought and reconsider it. For those who don't plan on cremation they could have a closed casket funeral with no viewing of the body if they wanted to do this. They would need to talk to their families ahead of time and explain their wishes so they can could adjust to the thought because viewing the body is a very important part of saying "good-bye" to someone when they die.
Posted By Anonymous Becky Romig, Pine Bluffs, WY : 1:32 PM ET
So many women have rejected my face in this life, I don't think I could stand having a yet another rejection after I'm dead.
Posted By Anonymous David T., Houston, TX : 1:32 PM ET
I am an organ donor and would gladly donate my face to save another person's life or well being. What is the point of being an organ donor if you pick and choose your organs? I hope they can use every square inch of my body!
Posted By Anonymous John, Palm Beach, FL : 1:32 PM ET
I myself am an organ donor and I believe I would donate my face. I'm dead right? If it does became a more common procedure are we going to have to start checking off a list of organ we choice to donate when we check off the box on our driver's license application? This is something that needs to be discussed with your family so the can make sure your wishes are handled the way you want (aka living wills) We don't want another Terri Schiavo case on our hands.
Posted By Anonymous RAS, Albuquerque, NM : 1:32 PM ET
Personally, I would not donate my face. The reason being, your face is physically the most unique part of my body, right? Everyone has a heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. just like me. But no one else has my face. That is what makes me "me". By donating my heart, I can help someone to continue to live his or her own life as they once did. By donating my face, I feel as though both the doner and the person receiving the transplant lose something. Their individuality. And isn't that one thing we should all own?
Posted By Anonymous kim, new york, ny : 1:33 PM ET
I'm an organ donor and I plan to be cremated after any donations. I'd give my face (also) in a flash; why not? It's just gonna be burned anyway and the Grand Canyon isn't going to miss the extra ash or two. I've AB neg. blood, which is rare, and if I can help anyone with anything, I'm game.
Posted By Anonymous Scarlet K. Long, R.N.; Indianapolis, IN : 1:33 PM ET
Face donation (as opposed to organ donation) is quite different because a person's face is his/her identity. You don't look at your heart or your kidney everyday in the mirror and people don't recognize your liver from across a crowded room. I think it would depend on how you wish to be laid to rest. Those who wish to have an open casket memorial service (if possible) probably should not donate facial features while they would be able to donate organs. On the other hand, people who have chosen cremation (without a viewing) are able to donate any organ - face, liver, etc. I am a big believer in organ donation and have chosen cremation, so I think I would be willing to donate my face.
Posted By Anonymous Nicole Skaar, Rochester, MN : 1:33 PM ET
There has always been an unanswered question for those who want to ask it: "what after this life?" And for those who would consider it there may be two parts to life: 'body' and 'soul'

The body comprises of several parts: kidneys, eyes, hands, legs etc. Modern medicine allows to reuse some of these parts. The face is just one of them. If we mortals are able to reuse any of these parts, so be it.

Our civilized scoiety does not allow us to hurt other beings in this process of 'reuse'. That is an important safegaurd. As we live these lives, if we can improve that living without affecting others, that is fine; Even if it means to have another face.

Vicarious pleasures are not something new to us humans. :)
Posted By Anonymous Pavan, Louisville, KY : 1:33 PM ET
Seems a bit ghoulish. Removal of organs is a surgical procedure - removal of a face is a mutilation.
Posted By Anonymous Dan Stephens, Lilburn, GA : 1:33 PM ET
I would donate my face, sure. They wont have my same features so it's not like someone is going to resemble me while I'm dead.

I wont need my face when I die, and it could possibly change the life of someone else.

Now, as intresting as that was, the thing that really caught my eye was the line, "I'm finishing up a book I've been writing". You have no idea how excited I am to read it.
Posted By Anonymous Andres, Las Cruces, NM : 1:33 PM ET
I've always told my husband and kids that I would be an organ donor, anything buy my eyes. I could even donate my eyes if something would be put in their place so that in my open casket I my body appears as though I am sleeping. I want my body to look normal to my kids, who are still very young. I don't think I could donate my face, because that would change my appearance in death to one that I wouldn't want my kids to see. It is important to me that I look normal to them, so as not to leave them with an unpleasant visual memory that they will have to recall for the rest of their lives. If skin from any other part of my body could be donated and help someone, I'm all for it.
Posted By Anonymous Teresa Glynn, Hallettsville, Texas : 1:34 PM ET
I think that i would donate my face just because, i'm dead..i don't need it... why not let someone else live a happy and fulfilling life...even if they don't have their own face...
Posted By Anonymous Phylicia, Ettrick WI : 1:34 PM ET
I, too, find it fascinating that after such a horrible injury, than woman now has a new face. Who could possibly be so arrogant to say that she did not deserve to be repaired? She is no Frankenstein's monster, but a Mom, a victim, and now - a part of history.
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Rockaway, New Jersey : 1:34 PM ET
I've been an organ donor for almost 15 years and hope to donate "all that I can" once I die. However, I have to draw the line at a donating my face. Maybe this sounds irrational, but that's just too much of "me" that I'd be leaving behind. A heart, a lung, a kidney ... somewhat out of sight, out of mind. But a face is just too "out there" for my comfort level.
Posted By Anonymous Terri, Portland, Maine : 1:34 PM ET
Honestly, it really is no different than donating an organ as you would not be around to know about it. Though, it would be harder on your family as they would not be able to have an open-casket viewing, and what if they ran into the person who got your face? It would be like losing you all over again.
Personally, I would allow any usable tissue from my body to be used in transplants. Narcissistically, it's something akin to living on through some one else, but I would only be weary of donating my face if the procedure was still in its infancy. I would just hope that they can perfect it before they perform any more.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Bregman New Enterprise, PA : 1:35 PM ET
I don't know why it's even an issue. I am a donor and I have no reservations about donating my face. I don't even consider it "my face." It's only skin covering bone. My face consistes of mouth, teeth, eyes, ears, hair and expressions - as one unit. If part of my face skin was used, I don't think anyone would be able to say "Gee, doesn't that person's nose and mouth look like Sue Kline's." I think donating face skin is wonderful and could be a blessing to many people. I'm all for it!!
Posted By Anonymous Sue Kline, Waynesboro, PA : 1:36 PM ET
You're dead, so why not donate your face, it's not like you need it anymore! I certainly would. I'd donate anything and everything they could use.
Posted By Anonymous Erika, Hermitage, TN : 1:36 PM ET
I work in an institution world famous for organ transplantation and my sister is a Transplant Coordinator. Through her, I have met several people who have received donated hearts, kidneys and lungs. These people have been dealt a hard blow by life yet they are upbeat and grateful for every day they have after receiving a new organ. Everyone seems to have the horrible misconception about organ donation that the body is ravaged by the surgeons and left in a mess. Great care is given to the donors and they are just as respected in death as they are in life. In many discussions with friends and family, being a donor is a good thing. The afterlife does not require you to have any organs so what is the difference between donating a heart, lung, skin, cornea or a face? You are no longer utilizing them so why not allow some else a second chance at life? So, you don't have an open casket. Do you really want your family to see you in that state or would you rather have them remember you by your generosity to someone else by giving the gift of life?
Posted By Anonymous Susie, Houston, Texas : 1:36 PM ET
I would donate, the person who recieved my face wouldn't look like me...their bone structure would be different, their eye color...everything! So there wouldn't be any 'surprises' for my loved ones after I was gone...they probably wouldn't even know if they bumped into the person with my face...
Posted By Anonymous Josette, Tucson AZ : 1:37 PM ET
What people really need to think about is the stigma that is attached to a person who looks 'different' from the norm. The average person does not, and will never for that matter, have movie star good looks but everyone strives for it nonetheless. So called ugly people are shunned by society no matter how awful it sounds. I think in order for some people to seriously go on living they need that face trasplant as much as a person with a failing liver needs that organ transplan to survive. Are you really living if you are cooped up in your house everyday afraid of the looks and stares of the outside world? I do not believe you are any more alive than if you were hooked up to machines waiting for the next donor to arrive with your new liver, or heart, or kidney, etc.
Posted By Anonymous Kirsten, Minneapolis MN : 1:37 PM ET
I think when it comes to donating your face, you also have to think about how your loved ones would feel.

Would it be Ok for them to see this stranger having the nose/lips of their loved one who is no longer there.

Not everyone would be comfortable with it.
Posted By Anonymous Prithi, Mpls, MN : 1:37 PM ET
To me, donating my face is no different than donating any of my organs. Do I need it any more? Will it help someone lead a better life? "There is no greater gift than laying down one's life for another." God only "lent" it to me, why should I not pass the gift on to another? Life (and death) is so much more than self.
Posted By Anonymous Loretta Ventura Makrancy, New Jersey : 1:38 PM ET
Good afternoon Anderson,

Wow, what an interesting question for such a grey Monday... Humm...I don't think that I would agree to give my face/skin to a new recipient. When I signed my organ donors'card, it was with the idea of "saving lives" and nothing else.
Anderson, am I the only one around here going to bed at 11:00pm and therefore missing the second half of your show every night??? It makes me sad to leave you after the first hour but I do have to get up the next day. Is the time frame (10:00-12:00) is there to stay? or do I have a chance to see you again at an earlier time?
Have a great day.
Posted By Anonymous Sylvie B. Fayetteville, GA : 1:38 PM ET
I think I would be fine with a partial face transplant, much like the one being covered in the news. Although, if it were possible, I don't think I would donate my entire face. Donating an entire face would be like having your idenity stolen. Also, you have to think of your loved ones. Imagine running into someone that had the same face as your deceased loved one.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Boston, MA : 1:38 PM ET
Wow, donating your face. I think a lot of people struggle with the thought of donating their eyes, so now how does one deal with this? I am curious as to how this donation will affect open-casket viewings. Many bereaved families depend upon the final viewing for closure, so now, what happens to this chance if such a donation is made? It is hard enough to see someone in a casket, whether or not they died peacefully, because you see them differently. Now, with such a donation, will families be allowed to literally see the deceased differently?
Posted By Anonymous Devi, Queens NY : 1:39 PM ET
I am an organ donor but I don't know about donating my face. My organs are taken out and then they stitch you back up, you are not disfigured. As shallow as this may sound, I would not want my face disfigured before being put to rest. I guess if they could do something to make it look like I had some kind of face I would probably do it.
Posted By Anonymous Susan Atlanta, Georgia : 1:39 PM ET
Only in AMERICA! I have never read so many vain posts in my life. Are you serious???? You can't be. Hellooo! If you are dead why do you need your face or any other body part?

I have a beautiful face and would be honored for my face to continue on after I am long gone. Why would I want it to be bug food?
Posted By Anonymous Tricia Sterling, VA : 1:39 PM ET
I am a christian, that said I belive my soul is going to be with christ on that faithful day. So please share any part of my body that is going to help someone live on. God Bless!
Posted By Anonymous Myiea, Burbank, CA : 1:39 PM ET
No. I wouldnt donate my face, even tho i would be dead and wouldnt need my identity anymore, its still who I was and I would Like to be remebered for what I did in my life where as if someone gets my face they may do bad things and I dont want my face on someone who may do bad in there life.
Posted By Anonymous William Weremecki, Pine Beach, New Jersey : 1:39 PM ET
At first I felt that it was too personal for me to give up my face. However, after some thought I figure is my heart or my kidneys any less personal? Knowing recipients of both oragan and bone marrow, I know that those people truly believe that they do have some personal part of their donor. I guess this would just be a more visible part of a donor.
Posted By Anonymous Casey Pikesville, MD : 1:39 PM ET
Certainly I would donate my face. I would just hope the person who gets it doesn't run in to anyone I knew. It could be quite a shock.
Posted By Anonymous Tom, Medford NY : 1:40 PM ET
I don't have any issue with it. The way we look is the product of both, the face and the frame it's stretched across. When you think of the circumstances of people in need of such a transplant, personal vanity seems a pretty shallow reason to reject the idea. When I go, I plan to be cremated. Anybody who needs this face is welcome to it. That said, anyone who had the unlikley opportunity to preview my mug might have second thoughts.
Posted By Anonymous Adam P. McKinney, Texas : 1:40 PM ET
Anderson, I forgot to add, I AM an organ doner.
Posted By Anonymous Dane Arreola, Albany, Georgia : 1:41 PM ET
I know I shouldn't really care what happens to my face if I no longer need it.. but I do. As of right now I am only comfortable in donating life saving organs. This topic has certainly given me much to think about though.
Posted By Anonymous Megann Mills, San Diego, CA : 1:41 PM ET
As goodlooking as I am and as sure as I am that any recipiant would be overwhelmed to have my beauty, I would have to decline donating my face. GOD reserved this beauty jsut for me.
Posted By Anonymous Dane Arreola, Albany, Georgia : 1:42 PM ET
As far as I am concerned they are not walking around with my face, only my skin. What makes my face "my face" are the bones and structure beneath as well as my eyes, hair, etc. If I die, my flesh is going to rot away to nothing, so why not put as much of it to good use as possible.
Posted By Anonymous Geoff, Washington DC : 1:42 PM ET
No I would not donate my face, other organs yes, the reason I state no is because they can do skin grafts using the patient's own skin to rebuild her own lips and nose. It is just something I am not comfortable with at this time.
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Baltimore, MD : 1:42 PM ET
Andrson,
Wow,a self imposed news black out from a self proclaimed news junkie.

I would not have a problem donating my face if I could make sure it would go to someone who truly needed it and not for some vain cosmetic reason.

Keep up the outstanding work you do!!
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer Lexington,Ky : 1:42 PM ET
I am an organ donor and would have no problem in donating my face. If this mug could make someone's life a little better after I am gone, then enjoy. My face is only a mask, my soul is who I am.
Posted By Anonymous Dana Triplett, Richmond VA : 1:43 PM ET
After seriously thinking about this question.....I would not donate my face. A face is too personal, it is identifying with who you are. While some people may be recognizable by another phyical feature more often than not you identify a person by there face. Even a persons eyes are personal, I even have a problem with that, but not a kidney or liver that is fine.
Putting my best face forward!
-Laura
Posted By Anonymous Laura, Southern Ontario, Canada : 1:43 PM ET
Anderson,

I am a strong believer in organ donation, but there are more the just organs that can be gained from my passing. My skin can be used for burn victims, my bone used to mend shattered limbs, my cornea's to allow someone to see. Why shouldn't my face be used as well if it can help someone have a better quality of life.

I donated stem cells to my sister 2 1/2 years ago, when she had a rare and especially deadly form of leukemia. As a result she was able to attend her daughters wedding this past October. Why not donate the rest of me once I've passed on, technically, I'm not going to need it.

I believe in doing what good you can do with the time you have on this earth, after that, use the parts you can to do what good you can.

And even though someone out there may one day have my face, they won't necessarily look like me, people who have had radical plastic surgery are sometime almost unrecognizable to their own families.

On the other hand, years ago I met someone who looked and sounded very, very much like me. It was more than a little creepy.
Posted By Anonymous Simon, Corona, CA : 1:43 PM ET
If I were to die, I think I'd donate my "face" along with any other organs that others need.

First of all, I obviously wouldn't need my face anymore. Others could argue this statement based on their religious theories.

However, if someone's face was mutilated in an accident, I would be more than honored to help them by donating my face. To me, it seems no different than skin grafting or donating an organ, like you said.

Being alive, it's an amazing feeling helping others in need. Many people believe that after you die, you stop contributing to the world. But wouldn't it be great giving something even though you aren't around anymore?

Donating your face, to me, sounds like just one last way to make a difference in someone's life.
Posted By Anonymous Alisha, Sackets Harbor, NY : 1:43 PM ET
I think that the idea of donating your face is difficult for many to fathom because your face is such a fundimental part of your personal identity. It is what immediately sets you apart visually from everyone else (except identical twins & triplets of course). In a sense your face is almost too significantly personal to give away. In contrast, donated organs are invisible, so there may be less of a personal attachment to them for many people.
Posted By Anonymous Nancy, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada : 1:43 PM ET
I am by no means and egostistical person, however I don't think I could donate my entire face to one person. I would be happy to donate pieces, such as my nose or another portion of my face. I wouldn't want to leave my loved ones with the thought that someday they may walk into a store and see my entire face but not have it really be me. I no longer have a use for my face but that is a horror I can't leave behind.
Posted By Anonymous Kristi, Gettysburg PA : 1:43 PM ET
my wife calles me buttface all the time, so I'm not sure if I would be of any help to anybody
Posted By Anonymous John,Chattanooga,Tn : 1:43 PM ET
hey when I am gone, anything of use should be passed on. I will not care, so I see no difference between face, heart,lung, or whatever.
Posted By Anonymous Linda Hibbs. Sheridan Missouri : 1:43 PM ET
I would willingly donate my face and any other organ or tissue that is needed upon my death. I do not think that the person receiving your face would look anything like you. The bone and muscle structures that make up their face are unique to them, so your skin would probably form to their facial structures and would not be recognizable to anyone who knew you. I plan to be cremated, so not being able to have an open casket is of no concern to me.
Posted By Anonymous Rogue, Rochester, NY : 1:43 PM ET
Yes, without a doubt in my mind I would donate any piece of my body. Being born with a tumor, I have suffered from severe facial scaring on the entire right portion of my face. I know first hand the physical and mental effects things of this nature have on a person. This is some of the greatest news I have come across in my almost 21 years of life. Honestly, it kind of makes me cringe when people question if its morally correct. I can respect other peoples choices though, if I agree with them or not. If I could just transfer a fraction of my experience to the people who are thinking twice about being a skin donor I am sure I could change some minds.
Posted By Anonymous Brian, South Bend IN : 1:44 PM ET
i don't think i can donate my face god created me only one person to live on this earth and when i die i want to keep my whole body and that whole body is going to heaven one of these days.
Posted By Anonymous Timothy Benally Aneth,Utah : 1:44 PM ET
Not at all.
Internal organs that cannot be seen but can help to sustain a life - THAT individual's life - maybe (I'm NOT an organ donor)
However, now you have someone who could potentially carry on my LOOKS after I am gone - forget it! My family deserves closure - THAT will not give it to them.
Posted By Anonymous Shiryl, McKinney TX : 1:45 PM ET
First, good luck with your writing...
Certainly I would donate my face. Why not, I'm already dead.
Posted By Anonymous Adriana, San Diego, CA : 1:45 PM ET
Along with the previous post, I think that the psychological aspect of it definitely has to be considered. I was listening to this story on the radio and I was thinking about what a shocker it would be to look in the mirror for the first time. Which would come first, the joy of becoming whole again, or the shock that it's not the same face that you have seen in pictures and the mirror throughout your life?
Posted By Anonymous Katie, Marshall, MN : 1:45 PM ET
I would donate anything and everything after I die. I'm not going to need it after death and it's just one more way to help someone else.
Having working in the organ/tissue donation field for five years, I've seen so many families at a loss when presented with the option of donation. More often than not, it was a topic that was simply never discussed, therefore the family members had no idea what their loved ones wishes may have been. Stories such as this are great because it gets people talking about donation and hopefully people share their thoughts about donating with their families.
Posted By Anonymous K. Ball, Virginia Beach, VA : 1:46 PM ET
Hey, I won't be using it anymore, why not? Why let it go to waste when it could help another individual?
Posted By Anonymous Mea Aloha Shimizu, Haleiwa, HI : 1:46 PM ET
As "bizzare" as donating a face sounds, it's no different really than a hand, heart, liver, hair, eye. If you are in good health and all your pieces and parts are in good conditon when you die, I see nothing wrong with donating your face or other organ. Legally, that little place on your driver's license that say "organ donor" doesn't hold water. After you are dead, your next of kin decides. For me...sure if you want my face, take it. Please. I'm rather sick of it anyway. Donate my organs, cremate me, and scatter my ashes over some lovely field of wild flowers and let another person live and enjoy his/her life. It's fine. Ok...enough of my naive ramblings.
Posted By Anonymous Laura; Syracuse, NY : 1:46 PM ET
I guess it all depends. Organs are donated to better someone's life, but then so would the face only it would better their life in a different way.

I would be ok with donating my face if the person would receive the "new" face if they had been in an accident, etc. but I wouldn't want to donate it for someone looking for a "different look."
Posted By Anonymous Lester W. New Lebanon, OH : 1:46 PM ET
wow, quite the conundrum, will I let someone else assume a portion of my identity, being my face. Vainity might stop me from donating, or will I help this individual out and give someone happiness. That's the problem, I think that if the option ever arises I probably will, knowing that my face will live on a little longer.
Posted By Anonymous john dalton, washington : 1:46 PM ET
If one is willing to donate other organs, donating the face should not present a dilemma since the bone structure of the recipient would somewhat alter the appearance. Once we die we no longer need any of our body parts, and someone severely disfigured would benefit greatly.

Good luck with the book, Anderson. I look forward to it.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 1:47 PM ET
I would donate my face in a heartbeat. I wouldn't need it anymore and I know that I would be helping someone in need. I wouldn't think twice about it.
Posted By Anonymous Jeni: Millbrook, NY : 1:47 PM ET
As an organ donor I figure I won't be needing any part of my body after I have passed on... so they are more than welcome to it. I think anytime you can make someone's quality of life better than the current state, then that is a good thing. I mean it's not like she is just fed up with her current face, she didn't "have" much of a face. Society is sometimes cruel. If I had a situation happen to me much like hers then I'd hope someone would do the same for me.
Posted By Anonymous Becky ,Ogden, Utah : 1:47 PM ET
Definately. It's not like the person who gets your face is going to look like you anyway, the bone structure would be totally off. Unless you donated your whole head the person would look nothing like you. The only thing defining your face is bone structure, eye color, skin tone and hair. So the person would have the same skin tone as your face but that's about it.
Posted By Anonymous David M. Slidell, LA : 1:47 PM ET
While most people would not mind someone walking around with their corneas, liver, heart or lung; I think most peopele would be reluctant to have someone walking around with their face. It does not seem to me that this would be the same as an organ transplant, because a face is so personal and individual. I suppose that there was the same feeling when people first heard of organ transplants, so perhaps once people have a chance to get used to the idea, there may be little or no objection.
Posted By Anonymous Brian G. Finlay Decatur, GA : 1:48 PM ET
Wow, I guess that it wouldn't do me any good to have my skin 6 feet under and in heaven I would take a new form so while on this earth, why not help someone out who would have to go through life with terrible blemishes etc.
Posted By Anonymous Jon, Overland Park, Kansas : 1:48 PM ET
I would donate everything else....so why not a face. What use is it to me while I lay rotting in the grave. When there is someone out there who could benefit from it. Is it a creepy thought? yes, however it would be worse to have no face and be terribly mangled for the rest of my life as well.
Posted By Anonymous Virginia, St.John's Canada : 1:48 PM ET
Wow, all these comments based in fear. First of all it is established as a recipient you do change your look, but you don't take on the look of the donor. So all those with a fear of relatives seeing them after they are gone need to rethink.... To the Post by Bill in DC, yes a face transplant may not be a physical life saving procedure. I can definetly assure you that it is an emotional life saving procedure. Just another perspective....
Posted By Anonymous Jeff, Louisville KY : 1:48 PM ET
I was just thinking: donating your face could also be a problem for funeral goers. Sometimes an open-casket service can help bring closure. I think a missing face may hinder this process.


P.S. Anderson you are my new (and first) hero in journalism! I can't wait to read your book.
Posted By Anonymous Steven, College Station, Texas : 1:48 PM ET
Although I am an organ donor and have expressed my wished to my husband and family, there are parts of my body I do not wish to donate. I just have an issue with one of my loved ones having to see my face or eyes after I am gone. The face and eyes are two very unique and special peices of a person...and I wish to keep them!
Posted By Anonymous Melanie, Virginia Beach, VA : 1:49 PM ET
If given the opportunity, I would donate my face if it meant someone else could walk around free of devastation of not having one.
Posted By Anonymous TChasse Waukesha, WI : 1:51 PM ET
yes, absolutely. i will admit a degree of concern about loved ones or family potentially coming into contact with the donor, under some abstract series of circumstances.

But the reality of living with a physically, and decidedly socially crippling injury, drasticly outweighs these concerns.

The basic principle of organ donation is the needs of the living outweighing that of the dead. the proceedure is simply a more direct example of the base premise.
Posted By Anonymous Wesley. Reading, Pa : 1:52 PM ET
I would donate my face, but I'm not too sure someone would want it! But seriously, it's like donating any other organ. I also believe identity is within.
Posted By Anonymous Sam, Palm Springs, CA : 1:52 PM ET
Sure. Why not donate my face? I won't be needing it.

I guess the better question to ask: Would they want my face?
Posted By Anonymous Bryan, Austin TX : 1:52 PM ET
If you would go back in the archives to the time heart transplants were new I believe you would find similar opinions. As face transplants become common and we learn the benefits to the recipients it will become as normal as your heart beating in another body. It's still a gift of life in a different form.
Posted By Anonymous Kathleen Dunnigan, Shreveport, Louisiana : 1:52 PM ET
I don't see why not. I'm already an organ donor. If it helps someone where they otherwise would not be able to live a normal life I'm all for it.
Posted By Anonymous Casey G., Philadelphia, PA : 1:53 PM ET
My son is a burn survivor and at the time of his facial injuries I would have glad given my face to him and if he needed it still I would give to him.
Posted By Anonymous carol lambertville, nj : 1:53 PM ET
I'm 18. I just got my organ donor card and I was a bit bummed to find there wasn't a box to check "face" yet. All my life, I try to help people as much as I can. So if in my death, I can still help, I'm all about it. To me, I don't need them anymore, so what's the point in hogging them?
I wouldn't mind donating my face. I picture it this way: I'm extremely animated. If I couldn't express myself through my face (as I do so very often), I would feel lost. How else could I communicate past my words? I've been accused of being mentally imbalanced because I smile constantly. What if I couldn't smile anymore?
These are things I wish on no one. So I woulnd't mind if someone got to wear my face. If they can move their lips and bat their eyes, I have no problem doing that. So what if it's my smile or my nose? I don't need it. I'll check that box if it gets here.
Under one condition...That person has to follow my english teacher around creep him out. I told him failing my term paper would haunt him.

erin o.
Posted By Anonymous erin o'connor, wall, nj : 1:54 PM ET
Sure Anderson,

I would donate my face gladly. I would, however, caution the recipient of the numerous former girlfriends, people offended, and other enemies made throughout my life. It could be hazardous to be me.. again.
Posted By Anonymous Steve Robbins, Buffalo, New York : 1:55 PM ET
No hesitation. Of course I'd donate. I'll be long gone. Whatever it takes to help another person.
Posted By Anonymous Laura San Luis Obispo, CA : 1:55 PM ET
I would donate my face if I knew it would make a difference in someone's life. However, I'm not sure someone would want my face. Since I don't even c ome close to looking like people in Holywood.
Posted By Anonymous Nicole, Church Point, Louisiana : 1:55 PM ET
Are you kidding? NO WAY. Too freaky. I'm a reasonably good looking guy and yet there is no way I want my face out there after I die. You can have ANY of my organs but to think my face is is attached to another personality...way too wierd. I suppose if, and only if, there was a real need, and there was a shortage (as there is for solid organ trasnplants) then I might reconsider.
Posted By Anonymous Roger, Chicago, IL : 1:55 PM ET
Welcome to the world of Dr. Frankenstein. Since the despicable face transplant incident, and the equally horrid issue with tissue theft in the USA, I have now recinded my wishes to be an organ donor of ANY kind. From death to the crematorium - those are now my wishes. I think the whole issue of organ, face, etc. transplantation is now bordering on the obscene, and I think it's time human beings stopped trying to play God.
Posted By Anonymous Linda Reed Needham Massachusetts : 1:56 PM ET
Sure I would donate my face. In fact, all of my mortal body. I would be finished with it, no longer in need of its use. I just wish that my body parts were acceptable for transplant upon my death. Too many of them just don't work right anymore.
Posted By Anonymous Blackrose Grwd, SC : 1:56 PM ET
I don't see any problem with donating my face, organs, or any other usable part of my body after death. What purpose will it serve me after I'm dead??? If someone else can have a better quality of life due to my donation, then, that's a terrific blessing. I actually think it's selfish and a sin not to donate to someone that truly needs it.
Posted By Anonymous Lulis Leal - Cedar Grove, NJ : 1:56 PM ET
I don't think I would be able to donate my face. I'm an organ donor and although I do believe of giving the gift of life to people who need it, I can't seem to imagine someone having my face. It just doesn't seem right to me. Good luck with your book Anderson. Can't wait to read it.
Posted By Anonymous Melissa, Scranton, Pa : 1:57 PM ET
Ahh, the writing deadline... It always seems so far away right until you're on top of it or over it in some cases.

As for donating my face? I would have to say no but then I also say no to organ donation. Logically, I know that I will have no need for them when I die but the spiritual or mystical side of myself hesitates. I know you now have all written me off as some new age loon but I'm not. I just figure that there are so many cultures that place significance on retaining body parts or "taking things with you" that there must be something to it. Or maybe I've just read too much science fiction.
Posted By Anonymous Sue, Albany, NY : 1:57 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

I'm an organ donor as well, and have no qualms whatsoever about donating anything. I'm not going to need it, so why not give it to someone who will? In my immediate family, we've all had the organ donor discussion and are in 100% agreement with each other. I find it easier to imagine being of help to people in need than other, how should I phrase this, "after death options." Ick.

Regarding the woman in question, I can't believe, after all she's gone through, that she'd jeopardize her new face by resuming smoking. Not the best course of action.

I'm enjoying the blog, and looking forward to your book. Best of luck to you with both.
Posted By Anonymous Jeana, Los Angeles, CA : 1:58 PM ET
I know this is probably ugly to say...but there are many over weight people that are having surgeries like liposuction, body and face lifts because of excessive skin and fat. Another mans trash, might be another mans treasure. I know I know that was ugly but truly. Why not recylce the skin? Why wait until death to use skin? It's a lot creepy actually. But if my sons were in an accident, heaven forbid, and needed plastic surgery, I would want donations available for them.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Roanoke, Texas : 1:58 PM ET
It is doubtful that the person receiving your face would look anything like you. And wouldn't it be nice to think that your face (something that people can be so uncomfortable with) could make someone else more comfortable in society and help them to lead a happier life. It's really quite beautiful.
Posted By Anonymous Anne, Chicago, IL : 1:58 PM ET
This story has also fascinated me. I live by the famous Cleveland Clinic and a doctor here is involved with this same type of thing. This story was featured in the Cleveland Plain Dealer a while before the story broke about the woman who had this face transplant. I would never be willing to 'donate' my face. I do, however, see the need for this type surgery increaseing in the future. Imagine living your life deformed in a world of beauty. I'm not sure which is worse, the fact that we stare at and humiliate people with imperfections or the fact that we look akwardly at someone who might consider this type surgery. I hope the doctors are seriously studying the psycological issues involved with this drastic manipulation of the body.
Posted By Anonymous Erica Jama, Lorain, OH : 1:59 PM ET
Think about this. Your body including your face will decay in the ground or will be converted to ashes if cremated. Either way - you will have deprived someone the chance to be whole again.
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Pittsburgh, PA : 1:59 PM ET
Of course I would. Hopefully that person would be in better physical shape than me...Their body, my beauty...What a combo!!
Posted By Anonymous Josh, Bealeton, VA : 2:00 PM ET
Why not donate your face? If I die of old age I dont know why anyone would want the face of a wrinkly, droopy skinned, old man. However, if im mangled in a car accident and my face somehow comes away looking just as good as before than, sure, why not? Wait till after the wake and carve me up, baby! Might as well let someone else enjoy benefits of my good looks. It's not like i'll need a face where im going.
Posted By Anonymous Andrew Yackel, West Hartford, CT : 2:01 PM ET
Sure, I'll donate my face. I'm already an organ donor and if anything else could help someone, why not. If I'm dead, what do I need a face for?
Posted By Anonymous Tom Van Natta, Decatur AL : 2:01 PM ET
I would definitely do that. Face is part of my physical identity. But again, if it can save someones life and make a huge difference in their life I would be more than willing to do so.
Posted By Anonymous Sarav Chithambaram, Cambridge, MA : 2:01 PM ET
If I die, I have no problem donating my organs, hair, face . . . whatever might help someone who's still alive. Ethically, I see no issue as it is a personal choice.
Posted By Anonymous Wendy, Portsmouth, RI : 2:02 PM ET
I feel donating an organ in order to save another person's life is completely worthwhile but donating the face is much different. With the advances in plastic surgery and facial reconstructive surgery today it wouldn't seem logical to have your face replaced with someone else's so I definitely would not donate my face to a face transplant.
Posted By Anonymous Brandon, Eau Clarie, Wisconsin : 2:02 PM ET
No I would not. It's just very unsettling and she looks bad. It's not a comforting look at all.
Posted By Anonymous Tracy Garcia Houston, Texas : 2:02 PM ET
I think people take too much stock in the physical reality of this world. When I compare bringing someone the ability to have a face as opposed to having mine waste away, it's a no brainer.
Don't you think we'll have more important dilemmas in the hereafter rather than where our skin cells are?
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, New Milford, CT : 2:03 PM ET
No, I am an organ donar and I am only that because a girl behind me in line at the DMV was listnening when they asked me the question
Posted By Anonymous Erik, Columbia, SC : 2:03 PM ET
I would not likely donate my face eventhough it is a worthy cause.
organs are not unique in the same way as a person's face. How would a family react to seeing my face on someone else after my death?
Posted By Anonymous Mr. Z. Phoenix, AZ : 2:03 PM ET
Nearly all mecial procedures have a gag factor. People inject mammal fat into their lips, slice off baggy eyelids, staple away their sagging skin. I really don't see what the difference is between the disgusting procedures we so commonly and enthusiastically sign up for now, and face transplants. And if you're dead when you donate, what do you care for anyways? Take one for the team.
Posted By Anonymous R. Stewart, San Francisco, CA : 2:03 PM ET
I don't think I would donate my face, because it feels uniquely personal to me... even though I know I am dead and I don't need it, it just seems strange to have someone else walking around with my face. I plan on being cremated, so I suppose it doesn't matter what they take... but I think I would like to go with my face intact. I'm a registered donor and have no issue with giving up organs, I can't reason out the vanity with my face. Everyone's got a liver and kidneys and a heart, but only I have my face.
Posted By Anonymous Jamie, Brunswick ME : 2:04 PM ET
If I've got it, I'll donate it. I won't need my kidneys, liver, heart, lungs or face, after I'm dead; any more than I'll need a hot tub, or a big screen plasma tv with surround sound. I'll bet you'd be praying someone would be willing to donate in order to save you, your child, or your spouse. How can you ask for an organ without being willing to donate? Besides, this face is entirely too good looking to bury.
Posted By Anonymous Bruce, Cleveland, OH : 2:05 PM ET
As long as I am dead, my face is no use to me so I would have no reservations giving it to someone who needed it. It seems to me that people are concerned that giving away their face would be giving away some crucial part of what defines them. But I like to think that who I am is much more than how my nose and cheek are arranged.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Tucson, AZ : 2:05 PM ET
I'd like to see what the donor looked like... seems to me the bone structure being different would make the face different on the recipient. But yes, they can have mine when I'm done with it. I plan on being cremated, so may as well pass on whatever will help others.

Best of luck with the book, Anderson. There's nothing quite as satisfying as getting to The End, although I imagine that's tougher to determine with non-fiction. With a life like yours, where do you stop and hand it over? (And how often will you be asking to add on just a bit more?) A lot of us are looking forward to reading it.
Posted By Anonymous Cynthia Delmar, Portland OR : 2:05 PM ET
The bigger question is....If i did, who would want it?
Posted By Anonymous Dr. Meskite, St. Louis MO : 2:05 PM ET
Yes, I would donate my face, for whatever it's worth. Frankly, I don't understand the ethical controversey about this surgery. Considering how shallow Western society is and how we are judged on our looks and appearance, any transplant surgery that helps soothe and nurture one's spirit I consider "life saving."
Posted By Anonymous Lorraine Swanson, Chicago, IL : 2:06 PM ET
A little different than donating an organ, I suppose if I didn't need my face anymore, such as in the even of death, I would donate that too.
Posted By Anonymous Melissa P- Hopkins, MN : 2:06 PM ET
Yes, i would donate my face at my death. I have put on my driver's license to give any parts of my body deemed usable and this could include the face.
Posted By Anonymous Jan Semones, Millbrook, AL : 2:08 PM ET
I would donate my face, and I've no worries about how it would look on another person's head. My bone structure is different from the organ receiver, and we will look completely different once everything settles into place. Considering I use medicine and have benefitted from medical research (as has just about everyone else on the planet), the least I can do is share my face. I put on paper that I wish to donate everything: if it can be used, by all means take it! And yes, I've spoken to my entire family about it so as to avoid more grief.
Posted By Anonymous Giselle, Miami, FL : 2:08 PM ET
Absolutely. If it would bring joy, confidence, and a normal existence to someone living...absolutely. You need a face to function in society just like you need organs.
Posted By Anonymous Allison, Lexington, KY : 2:08 PM ET
Please forgive the ignorance of this question, but when you talk about donating your face - what exactly does that mean? The chin? The cheekbones? The skin? Or the entire portion of your skull (and skin) that together, make up your face?

I think I would donate my face. We all already have "twins" somewhere in the world, and I am not so vain to think my face is what made me unique in life. My thoughts and emotions make up my identity, and while someone else might bear a resemblence to me when I'm gone, they would never be able to capture the true essence of who I am.

Anderson, what is your book about? I look forward to hearing more about it. And how on earth did you accomplish a news blackout? That's quite an oxymoron, isn't it? Everyone's favorite news guy on a self-imposed blackout...HA!
Posted By Anonymous Claudine, Long Island, NY : 2:08 PM ET
I hope to have the use of my face for many moons to come, but when I do expire, if it can bring joy to someone who would definitely need it more than I would - why not? It's a somewhat irregularly shaped pill to swallow, but such is the case with most new concepts/ideas.
Posted By Anonymous Nadine, Antigua, WI : 2:09 PM ET
As a teenager, I have yet to decide if I want to become an organ donor. I have given it a lot of consideration and believe that yes, I would like to see my organs put to a good use. I obviously would not need them in death and if I can help someone else to live then, of course! Donating my face is the same thing. I won't need it later, but someone else may.
Posted By Anonymous Steph, Randolph, NJ : 2:09 PM ET
I think that the only question you really have to ask yourself is what if something horrific happened to your face? Wouldn't you hope that there would be same way to "save face". In this society we live in when many are judged by how they look and people are constantly going out and changing their appearance, why is there so much drama associated with donating part or all of your face? Are we all just so VAIN and caught up with appearances that we even have to look "good" in death? What a sad world we live in, and what a great gift it would be to someone who was disfigured to be able to walk out their door every morning and not worry about being stared at and called names because I donated my face to the cause!
Posted By Anonymous Rachel, Massena NY : 2:10 PM ET
I really think I would be able to donate my face. Why not help the living if you can?? I really believe though that I would leave the final decision to my "living family", since they would be the ones seeing that (my) face-- possibly.
Posted By Anonymous Kris Onalaska, Wisconsin : 2:10 PM ET
We donate our organs to give life
and the face to make someone happy?
If i can give live why not make someone happy so yes ido will donate my face.
Posted By Anonymous Marisa.Monsivaes,katy,tx. : 2:10 PM ET
I think it's amazing that anyone would donate their face...I don't know if I could. There's some pretty great people in this world!
Posted By Anonymous SS, Ontario Canada : 2:11 PM ET
You donate your face when you are dead, right? So what do I need it for. After all, God judges us by our soul, not what we look like.
Posted By Anonymous Judi Wolfe, Delaware, Ohio : 2:11 PM ET
Considering I'd have little use for my face when I'm dead, I think I'd be kind of selfish to not let it go.

You know, it could be really interesting... Maybe my face gets transplanted onto someone famous. Instantly, my face would achieve a degree of notoriety the rest of my body did not (probably a good thing, too).

Or imagine someone trying to explain my injuries on their face: That gash I got in college when I was distracted looking at a pretty girl while opening a large metal door; or that scar I got in the eighth grade when I tripped over a girl's leg and slid face first into the side of a metal trashcan...

If I weren't dead at the time, I'd probably find it kind of funny.
Posted By Anonymous Rubin, Edina MN : 2:11 PM ET
Organ donation can't have restrictions put on it. If you are an organ donor, then donate it all. It isn't going to serve you any longer. Have you ever seen a severally burned individual? A person mauled in the face? If donating my face (which isn't that spectacular to begin with) will give another a chance at a normal life, then take it.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Houston, TX : 2:11 PM ET
Yes, I would be willing to donate my face. It is no different than any other organ. Now, what would be wierd, if you ran into someone who had donated their face & you recognized their features.
Posted By Anonymous marcia portage mi. : 2:12 PM ET
What needs to be kept in mind here is that the recipient of such a graft would still not look like the person donating the skin. Different bone structures, physical features (hair, eyes, mouth) would all be different and create different accents and a different "context" for the face.

One reason I say this is because I remember reading that it is uncommon for facial features to duplicate exactly on both sides of the face (i.e. one nostril slightly smaller, one cheekbone slightly higher, one eye slightly more curved, etc) and saw pictures where 1/2 of the face was used to generate a picture of both sides of the face. Even then, people looked significantly different and some would have been unrecognizable at just a glance. Given that, I believe that the differences beyond such a skin graft would make it unlikely that people would be creeped out by seeing dead people reappear.

Plastic surgeons are probably more likely to try to make a customer look "like" Tom Cruise or Nicole Kidman.
Posted By Anonymous Karen in Colorado Springs, CO : 2:12 PM ET
Six words: You can't take it with you

Why not donate your face? I'd rather have it used by someone else than slowly rotting away in a coffin.
Posted By Anonymous Andy Bonior, Rockville, Maryland : 2:13 PM ET
I think this is an amazing break through in the medical history. I would certainly donate my face along with other organs.
Posted By Anonymous John Wee, New York, NY : 2:13 PM ET
Good luck with your book. I understand the news blackout. When I go home to visit my parents, they live out in the middle of nowhere and the only internet service you can get is dial-up.

I don't think that I would go that far. A face is an unique part of a human being. Organs on the other hand, look almost identical to the ones that they are replacing. To me a face is just too personal.
Posted By Anonymous Trey, Lubbock, TX : 2:13 PM ET
I'm not sure if I could donate my face or not. One question remains in my head, how would my family react to someone else with my face?

Then again, when someone close to you dies, most would give anything to touch their face again. Donating would give them that chance.
Posted By Anonymous Anita, Mechanicsburg, PA : 2:14 PM ET
I have to agree with you, this is a very hard issue to think about. The reason it's probably hard to contemplate donating a "face" compared to a heart or other organ is the fact that it's superficial and that society places so many aesthetic qualities on how we look. I see no problem with donating your face, just like any other organ, in order to help another person out, but whether or not I would personally do it would take more research and thought.
Posted By Anonymous Rita Rodriguez, Plainview, TX : 2:14 PM ET
I don't know many people who need their faces after they're dead, like any other organ. For those that do, I guess God won't be able to tell who they are without it.
Posted By Anonymous Tim Madsion, WI : 2:14 PM ET
The fact that once the person has the transplant he won't look quite like himself, but he also won't look like the person whose skin he got should preclude my relatives, especially my children, from bumping into "me" after I'm dead, so why not donate my face-skin, especially to severely burned victims.
Posted By Anonymous Geraldine, Chaparral, New Mexico : 2:14 PM ET
After reading the posted comments on face donations, the thought occured to me that the existing bone structure of the receipent would be different than the doner, right? Wouldn't this chane the apperance of the donated face? If so, wouldn't this eleminate the possibility of someone recognising anyone? Like, it is the tissue, skin, etc. not the entire face, including bone stucture.
Posted By Anonymous Blackrose Grwd SC : 2:14 PM ET
Organ donation is a hard subject in my house. As I am an organ donor and my husband hates the idea that I am...I have mixed ideas about donating my face or even a part of. It mostly has to do with my loved ones still living after I die. How would they like to turn on the TV or walk down the road and see me...or part of me on another person? Secondly I have a very tight family and I'm not sure the transplant person would want my family over every holiday, birthday, etc. My personal opinion would be "sure, why not?" With everyone in America being hung up on looks, I would want a person to be able to lead as normal of a life as possible and if my face would help then they should have it...isnt that why we donate organs to begin with? In the end I have to say its a choice I will leave to my husband and children because after all its them that will miss it after I die, not me.
Posted By Anonymous Mary Bezio, Oxford ME : 2:14 PM ET
I have no issues with it. I think once you are deceased, your face deteriorates anyway, so why not let it be put to good for someone like this lady. It's not like your are donating your soul as someone sort of referred on this message board! You are simply donating a body that would decompose afterall.
Posted By Anonymous Mindy, St. louis, MO : 2:15 PM ET
Yes I would... to give someone a better life. I would donate any of my oragans and limbs if needed.
Posted By Anonymous Jenny Dobay, Medical Lake , WA : 2:15 PM ET
That would be difficult. Your face is the most easily identifiable characteristiic of you. It's what makes you recognizable in a crowd, and yet reflects your physical bond to your parents, siblings and ancestors. I have a picture of my great-grandmother, taken when she was 20 and just arrived at Ellis Island in the 1800s. I look at her, and I also see my sister, born some 70 years later. They are different faces, but similar enough to show a connection. It would be hard to see that transferred to a stranger.
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Davison, Michigan : 2:15 PM ET
i would absolutely be willing to donate my face for transplant,think of the normalcy you could bring to someones life after a disfiguring accident.it's pretty much a no brainer.
Posted By Anonymous kevin fall river ma : 2:27 PM ET
While logically it seems no different than donating a kidney and I know it wouldn't matter to me because I'd be dead, if I were to die before my parents I'd hate to think of my mother running into my face on the street somewhere. And I know I couldn't take running into a stranger with the face of a dead family member.
Posted By Anonymous C, Washington, DC : 2:47 PM ET
Jeeslike!! this is quite something to think about....but i have to agree with Jenny from WA, if it will benefit another life...yes!

Think about this,,,
The day you die, you leave everything behind anyway...or is this a different type of topic??

C.S
Posted By Anonymous Cassandra,JHB, SA : 6:09 AM ET
If donating your face allows someone to face the world better, why not? Even though donating the face is no different than donating any other organ, the dilemma for most people is simply because internal organs are assumed to be inconspicuously interchangeable while the face is the source of identity to the world.
Posted By Anonymous Dr. Mehul, Raleigh, NC : 4:02 PM ET
I signed up today to be an organ donor. I think donating any part of your body to help another person is the right thing to do.
Posted By Anonymous Jim Klich : 11:21 PM ET
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