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Old 08-04-2008, 06:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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World's first double arm transplant

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I once watched an interesting documentary on th topic of limb transplants, and it made a case for and against them.

For me, I could never say whether I'm entirely for or against it, because I do not presume to know how a person who has a missing limb might feel and if they think it's worthwhile for them. Even so, I think that if I was in that situation, I don't think I'd want to have it done. I'd sooner get an artificial limb that was connected to my nerve endings (this exists also) than get someone's dead arm willingly attached to my body.

It does bring to mind the story of Frankenstein, I must admit. What would Dr. Frankenstein do with the knowledge we know possess on this topic? Would it now be possible to build a "Frankenstein"? And would that be desirable? *shudder*

It seems unlikely, as, reading through most articles on the matter it seems there is an endless supply of complications that arise with this kind of transplants, such as rejection and tissue necrosis. The patients need to undergo and continue to have intensive physiotherapy and though it may be wonderful to regain the possibility to use a hand or an arm when there had been none for years, the maintenance involved with the transplant is daunting.

In fact, one of the most talked about hand transplant patients has since had the transplanted hand removed. Would this man say it was worth having gone through it anyway?

In his case, there was an issue of no longer "feeling" the hand as his own, or as a part of his body. It was a piece of flesh awkwardly attached to him that did not belong there, in a way. How awful that feeling must be.

The fact is, a similar case exists even in people where the limb has never been severed, people who have Body Integrity Identity Disorder. That particular syndrome must be very difficult to deal with.

One of the most successful and interesting limb transplant cases occurred in 2000 with twins, where one twin was born with no arm, and the other twin had severe cerebral palsy and died. Since the babies were twins, the transplant didn't even require immunosupressant drugs. Now that is amazing.

What do you think about limb transplants? Do you think you would have one if you were missing a limb at some point in your life?
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd get another arm before you could say w-e-i-r-d-s-h-i-t. If I had to make the choice of losing 2 limbs and it could be any combination of arms or legs, I would get both legs removed. My arms are "sacred" and my life would suck beyond comprehension if I lost any of them.

Leg transplants I may go through with but there's so many alternatives now that I would probably go cyborg and get some metal attached.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would soooo jump at the oppertunity! It's no different than an organ transplant. You may have a new kidney cleaning your system, new lungs to breath, new heart to beat in your cheast, and now a new leg to run through the park or new hands to type away with. In fact, Mary Shelly's original vision of Frankenstien was that he had been designed as the perfect human being. Hollywood made him into a green monster to play on the fears of movie goers.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Harvesting your dead twin for parts - now that's interesting. Try to explain that one to the kid when he's older.

This is one of those decisions that I'd only make when presented with the dillema. I hope I'd be open to the idea of experimentation, but I do not like the thought of taking anti-rejection medication for the rest of my life over a non-essential.
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