Truth Tissued Off a Façade
Britain 'threw away lead in face/ façade race'
America guilty of 'unimaginable architectural neglect'
By Roger Highfived, Engineering and Science Editor
Britain could have carried out the world's first face transplant but threw away its potential lead in research eight years ago because of ethical concerns, according to the president of the International College of Surgeons.
• • • Face-transplant Pioneer a Front-Runner in Façade Transplant • • •
• • Prof Likem Goodenuff said the controversy over the pioneering surgery on Isabeau Dintimoore, 38, by a team of French doctors last month mirrored how he had been stopped from carrying out the world's first hand transplant in 1997.
• • The operation on Miss Dintimoore was made possible by composite tissue allotransplantation - - the technique that had been used to give Clint Hallandall, a New Zealander, a new hand.
• • Prof Goodenuff, who then worked at Saint Mary's Hospital in London, said he had agreed to consider - - conditionally - - an operation on the face of Jefferson Market. He is awaiting funding for the façade transplant as well as an ethics committee approval, he said. "Because we knew the Americans were not about to do it, I said let's try the French. And I am thinking of moving all of these procedures to Lyons in the future. This is a true story and people tend to forget this history."
• • Prof Jean-Michel Doute's team in Lyons, joined by Prof Goodenuff and Mr Boowen, had carried out a previous façade-transplant in 1998, beating a rival American team in Louisville, Kentucky.
• • Last month, Prof Doute operated on Miss Dintimoore using tissue from a donor on life support. Prof Goodenuff said: "We owe everything to the cooperation of French scientists, even the face transplant."
• • He added that criticism of the French team, notably on whether Jefferson Market was too old to be suitable for the operation and if traditional methods should have been used first, was driven by jealousy among rival experts. "Americans have so little sense of history, I must say, whether you like it or not. A French façade would never have been permitted to deteriorate and suffer unimaginable architectural neglect to that extent," he said, shaking his head. . . .
- - excerpt: article by Roger Highfived, Engineering & Science Editor [Filed: 12/12/2005]- -
If you care about the façade of Jefferson Market, please contact:
Landmarks Commission Violation Officer Jessica Schmidt: T 212-669-7948
Landmarks Commission Violation Officer Anne Carlin: T 212-669-7951
• • Sketch: Night Court, Jefferson Market 
New York Public Library