Heroic surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital are planning on conducting some amazing experimental penis transplants on a bunch of Wounded Warriors.
The doctors at the Baltimore hospital are hoping to restore urinary and “extra-curricular” use to sixty veterans. Although sixty people is just a small percentage of the 1,300 servicemen who’ve suffered urogenital injuries since 9/11, it’s a great start to help the young men who’ve literally sacrificed their bodies for our nation.
Johns Hopkins spokeswoman Taylor Graham explained the obvious to Philly.com:
Injuries that would have killed soldiers in the past are increasingly survivable, thanks to medical advances. But, especially for younger men, identity can be deeply tied to sexuality.
“When they wake up after getting hurt, they don’t care if they’re missing an arm or a leg. The first thing they do is to make sure, ‘Is my penis still intact?’,” Graham said. “They worry about the arms and legs later.”
The procedures will involve only the penis and will not include the testes, Graham said [source].
We wrote about this story in December 2015, but now it seems as though the first transplant was a success. They’re now moving on with more surgeries.
Amazingly, this kind of surgery exists in somewhat grey ethical zone. Not because the doctors don’t want to make the life of their patients better, but because of the complications that can arise years after the surgery.
According to Arthur Caplan, a professor of bioethics at New York University, more often than not a ton of antirejection drugs are required to be taken by the patient for the remainder of their life. Apparently the kidneys have a very tough time coping with new organs. “We don’t worry about it when it comes to the heart, because without the transplant they’re dead,” said Caplan. “But if you transplant someone at 20 with a new penis, and their kidneys fail at 30, is that a success?”