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Adapted from National Public Radio
Hand transplants have been controversial for decades because, to prevent rejection, patients have to take powerful drugs that suppress the immune system and prevent it from attacking the transplant hand.
Until now, everyone who’s had a hand transplant got it because of an accident, or an illness. Would you request a transplant hand because of a birth defect?
The situation may be different, and Ethics specialist are looking into it.
Patients with birth defect had had lived their whole childhood with their defect and had adjusted well to it for the most part. Besides, a hand transplant could end be a huge disappointment. The patient has to accept somebody else’s body part as their own, especially that the transplanted hand is visible, compared for heart and lung transplants. The first person to have hand transplant surgery couldn’t get used to having someone else’s hand; he ended up asking his doctors to remove it.
Besides no one knows whether the patient’s brain is even wired to use a new hand- there was never one on that side since before birth!