Second face transplant for Frenchman in world-first

A man whose body rejected a face transplant he received seven years ago has been given a second donor face after living nearly two months without one. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 20 January 2018
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Second face transplant for Frenchman in world-first

PARIS: A man whose body rejected a face transplant he received seven years ago has been given a second donor face after living nearly two months without one, French medical agencies said Friday.
It is the first time in transplant history that doctors have replaced one donor face with another, according to Olivier Bastien of France’s biomedicine agency.
More than 12 years since the first-ever face graft was done, in France, it remains a high-risk procedure.
A transplant can help recipients — often victims of accidents, violence, or rare genetic disorders — to resume basic tasks such as breathing, eating and speaking, and restores non-verbal communication through smiles and frowns.
But it also means a life-long reliance on immunosuppressant medicines, to stop the body rejecting the “foreign” organ. These drugs can leave a person vulnerable to infections and cancers.
It is a rare procedure with fewer than 40 operations performed to date, and at least six patients have died.
The latest recipient, in his 40s, went under the knife at a Paris hospital on Monday, for a procedure that lasted nearly a full day, according to a joint press statement issued by the biomedicine agency and the AP-HP public hospital system.
The man’s original graft had been removed in an operation on November 30, and he was kept on life support in an induced coma until the follow-up procedure.
“This graft shows for the first time... that re-transplantation is possible in the case of chronic rejection” of a donor face, said the statement.
It will be weeks before doctors can say whether the second graft has taken.
The recipient of the world’s first face transplant, Isabelle Dinoire, died of cancer in April 2016, 11 years after her groundbreaking operation.
Doctors said her body had rejected the transplant, and she had lost partial use of her lips by the time she died.


Cambodia genocide verdict a signal to other perpetrators: US

The historic verdict comes nearly 40 years after the Khmer Rouge were expelled from Cambodia following a four-year reign of terror that left about a quarter of the population dead. (AP)
Updated 17 November 2018
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Cambodia genocide verdict a signal to other perpetrators: US

  • A war crimes tribunal in Cambodia found the Khmer Rouge’s former head of state Khieu Samphan, 87, and “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, 92, guilty of genocide on Friday
  • Let this be a message to other perpetrators of mass atrocities: US State Department

PHNOM PENH: The US has welcomed Cambodia’s landmark genocide verdict and said it served as a warning that perpetrators of mass atrocities, “even those at the highest levels,” will eventually face justice for their crimes.
A war crimes tribunal in Cambodia found the Khmer Rouge’s former head of state Khieu Samphan, 87, and “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, 92, guilty of genocide on Friday and sentenced them to life in prison.
The historic verdict comes nearly 40 years after the Khmer Rouge were expelled from Cambodia following a four-year reign of terror that left about a quarter of the population dead from starvation, mass executions, and overwork.
“Their crimes were numerous, calculated, and grave,” US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, commending the courage of the victims and witnesses who testified during the trial.
“Let this be a message to other perpetrators of mass atrocities, even those at the highest levels, including former heads of state, that such actions will not be tolerated and they will ultimately be brought to justice,” she said in a statement.
Cambodia’s neighbor Myanmar has come under fire in recent months for its handling of the Rohingya crisis, which United Nations investigators believe amounts to “genocide” given the atrocities perpetrated on the stateless Muslim minority.
Myanmar has denied the allegations but UN investigators have urged that the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation and prosecution.
Despite the show of support for war crimes prosecution, the US is one of the few Western countries that is not signed up to the ICC, which has a mandate to investigate the gravest offenses including genocide and crimes against humanity.
The country’s refusal to be party to the body erupted again following an ICC request to open an investigation into alleged war crimes by the US military and intelligence officials in Afghanistan, especially over the abuse of detainees.
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and threatened to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the court if it moved to charge any American.