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The First Full Face Transplant in the US


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#1 Ken Gilmore

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 05:01 AM

By now many would have heard of the first full face transplant in the US, which was carried out some time last week on 25 year old Dallas Weins. Dallas was critically injured in November 2008 when his face came into contact with a high voltage electrical wire and burned his entire face off down to the bone. He's blinded, and has no sensation on the skin graft covering what used to be his face. Not being able to feel his 3 year old daughter's kisses on his face is something which he misses terribly. Despite this, he has a remarkably mature outlook on life:


His brush with a high-voltage wire is a blessing he says he wouldn’t trade.
“He has just a real maturity about where he is and his understanding of Christ and his view of the world,” said Cox, who meets with Wiens regularly. “There is an acceptance of what happened to him as God’s providence. He has a very strong view of the sovereignty of God.

“He’s not angry at God over it at all.”

Wiens spends a good deal of time in the Word, especially with what he calls an “addiction” to Old Testament wisdom literature in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. He also sees the beauty of people made in God’s image.

“The only thing I can see is their heart,” Wiens said of people he encounters. “And I was a pretty judgmental person when I was sighted. There is more beauty in people than what we see with our eyes. Being blind has given me the ability to really know others”— what he calls a “serious gift of discernment.”

The vanity spoken of in Ecclesiastes resonates with Wiens.

“We worry about so much that doesn’t matter. Cars, houses, wedding rings, whether one’s spouse is the most attractive,” Wiens observed. “We have the ability to stop those stressors. But we don’t. And Solomon sums it up—it doesn’t matter.”

Wiens said he appreciates his pastor because “he’s not detached.”

“I feel enlightened every time we end our conversation. I am blessed,” Wiens said.



It would be trivially easy to turn Wien's misery into the worst form of Christian "chicken soup for the soul" glurge. Objectively, it would have been better had he not nearly died after his brush with an electrical wire that ablated his face and left him blind. Anecdotes such as these don't allow one to form a robust theodicy. There are however a number of such anecdotes in which the person who suffered believes he or she is better person for having suffered, and would not go back to their former situation if they were given the chance. Since it is that person's experience which is the metric by which we can judge the intrinsic worth of their life experience, any non-theistic argument which implies God is sadistic or unfeeling for not intervening to prevent that adverse outcome is not as strong as it would appear. If the only way that person could come to God was via such an arduous pathway, then even God's hands are tied.


Edited by Ken Gilmore, 22 March 2011 - 05:02 AM.

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” - Galileo Galilei

#2 Evangelion

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 05:48 AM

Good golly, Miss Molly. I'd rather be dead. No noble heroics for me.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:26 AM

I read this earlier, then the article to which you linked, and couldn't read much more. I'll have to take some time to absorb this before I comment meaningfully. I doubt I would handle it as well as he has.

#4 Mercia2

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 07:27 AM

By now many would have heard of the first full face transplant in the US, which was carried out some time last week on 25 year old Dallas Weins. Dallas was critically injured in November 2008 when his face came into contact with a high voltage electrical wire and burned his entire face off down to the bone. He's blinded, and has no sensation on the skin graft covering what used to be his face. Not being able to feel his 3 year old daughter's kisses on his face is something which he misses terribly. Despite this, he has a remarkably mature outlook on life:



His brush with a high-voltage wire is a blessing he says he wouldn’t trade.
“He has just a real maturity about where he is and his understanding of Christ and his view of the world,” said Cox, who meets with Wiens regularly. “There is an acceptance of what happened to him as God’s providence. He has a very strong view of the sovereignty of God.

“He’s not angry at God over it at all.”

Wiens spends a good deal of time in the Word, especially with what he calls an “addiction” to Old Testament wisdom literature in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. He also sees the beauty of people made in God’s image.

“The only thing I can see is their heart,” Wiens said of people he encounters. “And I was a pretty judgmental person when I was sighted. There is more beauty in people than what we see with our eyes. Being blind has given me the ability to really know others”— what he calls a “serious gift of discernment.”

The vanity spoken of in Ecclesiastes resonates with Wiens.

“We worry about so much that doesn’t matter. Cars, houses, wedding rings, whether one’s spouse is the most attractive,” Wiens observed. “We have the ability to stop those stressors. But we don’t. And Solomon sums it up—it doesn’t matter.”

Wiens said he appreciates his pastor because “he’s not detached.”

“I feel enlightened every time we end our conversation. I am blessed,” Wiens said.



It would be trivially easy to turn Wien's misery into the worst form of Christian "chicken soup for the soul" glurge. Objectively, it would have been better had he not nearly died after his brush with an electrical wire that ablated his face and left him blind. Anecdotes such as these don't allow one to form a robust theodicy. There are however a number of such anecdotes in which the person who suffered believes he or she is better person for having suffered, and would not go back to their former situation if they were given the chance. Since it is that person's experience which is the metric by which we can judge the intrinsic worth of their life experience, any non-theistic argument which implies God is sadistic or unfeeling for not intervening to prevent that adverse outcome is not as strong as it would appear. If the only way that person could come to God was via such an arduous pathway, then even God's hands are tied.



Yes I agree with what you say you their Ken, especially the last line in bold, which I believe to be the case and something so important for us to all understand. You put it bettern than I could, but on this very subject I did a video rebuttal on Youtube the other day concerning this programme which was on British TV on March 12th and was asking why no one could answer why God allows suffering - http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b00xmtwd
It is showing episode 11 now this was episode 10..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mAxaNhines

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwl_2ySKDnk

I do not express my main points as I intended so I am going to re-do it shortly, then add some full explanations of what I am trying to say on some other vids and upload them to Youtube on searched for keywords in relation to this questions of suffering. Because it is the one main issue of them all that needs some light shed on I strongly believe.

While Gods hands are tied, their is the issue of foreknowledge as well I forgot to address and we all often do.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#5 Ken Gilmore

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 09:22 AM

Nice to see you've made your way to BTDF's new home. Welcome. Posted Image
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” - Galileo Galilei

#6 Mercia2

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 09:27 AM

Thanks Ken, good to see you all and catch up with your interesting posts.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#7 Acomtha

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 01:55 PM

Hi, You'd be surprised what you can endure when not given a choice.

#8 Mercia2

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 02:27 PM

Hi, You'd be surprised what you can endure when not given a choice.

But their is a choice.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#9 Acomtha

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:22 PM

I guess what I meant is that what happened yesterday is now in the past and can't be lived over again differently, that what happened, happened, and one must live with it. But you are right, there is a choice in what one does from now on.

#10 Ken Gilmore

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:57 PM

Hi, You'd be surprised what you can endure when not given a choice.

But their is a choice.

One thing I've observed as a doctor, is that not everyone responds the same way to the challenge of rehabilitation after a major accident or illness. There are people who are capable of participating in rehabilitation after a stroke, fractured hip or other medical problem but simply abandon hope, and end up in a nursing home, while others positively refuse to let major medical disaster destroy them. Dallas would have had the choice of withdrawing from the world, or challenging it. He's chosen the latter, and that makes him an utterly remarkable young man. Furthermore, it shows that even horrendous evil can be overcome and integrated into a life which that person regards ultimately as good, and that's significant for any theodicy. We always have a choice in how we respond to adversity, no matter how hard it is.
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” - Galileo Galilei

#11 Evangelion

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 10:10 PM

Hi, You'd be surprised what you can endure when not given a choice.


I would not endure it. I'd be a crumpled ball of agony for the rest of my life.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#12 daysha

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 10:44 PM

I find 1 Cor 10:13 a great comfort in times of anguish/pain:

"No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others.
And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.
Do all to the glory of God. Read His word prayerfully, think about it, meditate upon it and do.

#13 Fortigurn

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 11:52 PM

Mercia, in your videos you look suspiciously like Hugh Grant. :D

#14 RobertB

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:42 AM

yes, Fort,

I would have to agree, there is a striking resemblance.....
Do you know why you Believe what it is that you Believe?

#15 Acomtha

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 01:54 PM


Hi, You'd be surprised what you can endure when not given a choice.


I would not endure it. I'd be a crumpled ball of agony for the rest of my life.



Sure you would endure it, one day at a time, with support of your friends, brethren, family, and God. All have trials through out their lives, it is part of living.

#16 Ken Gilmore

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 04:09 PM



Hi, You'd be surprised what you can endure when not given a choice.


I would not endure it. I'd be a crumpled ball of agony for the rest of my life.



Sure you would endure it, one day at a time, with support of your friends, brethren, family, and God. All have trials through out their lives, it is part of living.

Some would, but not everyone. It is of course impossible for any of us to say how they would react if they suffered an accident as catastrophic as that endured by Dallas - our own response to mild or moderate medical problems (broken bones, chronic illness, minor hospitalisations) is likely to be significantly different when faced with something like locked in syndrome, quadriplegia or major facial trauma. Mind you, if someone knows how they respond to the usual medical ups and downs, there is good chance they may be able to extrapolate what their response would be. Some people would not be able to endure Dallas' own version of hell, others would.

Would I cope? I have absolutely no idea. Once you work as a doctor, and see exactly what can go wrong with people and what their life is like post-recovery, you quickly see that amputations, stomas, strokes and other catastrophes don't stop people from leading meaningful lives - I could easily see myself finding strength to come back from any of these situations. Perhaps I could cope with Dallas' version of hell - blindness does frighten me more than most other problems since I'm a visual person who would miss seeing the universe. Facial disfigurement per se doesn't bother me however. What does terrify me is dementia. I am not certain that I could endure being diagnosed with dementia, and know that the very core of who I am will wink out piece by piece until I no longer know who I am.


“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” - Galileo Galilei

#17 R2D2

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 05:04 PM

Actually that reminds me about a news article about a study of patients with locked in syndrome that I saw the other day. It found that most of them had adjusted to their situation and the longer they had it, the more content they felt. See here.

I wouldn't wish suffering or disability on people though but most people do get on with it and adapt.

#18 Evangelion

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 05:35 PM

Sure you would endure it, one day at a time, with support of your friends, brethren, family, and God. All have trials through out their lives, it is part of living.


I'm not so sure I would cope. Life in such a reduced state would not be worth living to me.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#19 Mercia2

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 02:01 AM

Mercia, in your videos you look suspiciously like Hugh Grant. :D

I just need a haircut
dark patches under my eyes because I had been working really long hours and that vid was taken upstairs in a Jewellers at about midnight. You can see me keep looking at the monitor in tat vid as their was banging outide (audible on the video).
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#20 Mercia2

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 02:36 AM

Sure you would endure it, one day at a time, with support of your friends, brethren, family, and God. All have trials through out their lives, it is part of living.


I'm not so sure I would cope. Life in such a reduced state would not be worth living to me.

Same for me. In a way I think 'societies' whole view on this matter reflects atheistic thinking, although trumpeted as Christian thinking or Catholic thinking, i.e that life is precious and must be sustained at every cost, sounds great, and of course life is precious but the language the RCC use is a sort of inversion of the NT use of the word in a more spiritual sense. In the NT the concept of life is given in relation to surviving past natural death and what we call life that ends of course very quickly in death, God or the NT actually calls life in the literal sense, death, speaking in the logical extrapolation of future tense, as God is outside of our space and time so then as we should expect if this is really the Word of God...He replies in the future tense, knowing the end from the beginning. Because those who are not saved and die unsaved at the end of their short lives are already dead in Gods eyes (God knowing the end from the beginning) while 'life' is synomous with immortality or having the promise of 'being like the angels' in a future everlasting life. So for a start I think the RCC mispresent the true context of the word in its fuller meaning. But the reason I always think it is atheistic/nihilist thinking that life must be maintained at all cost, is because as an atheist I only saw reality as this life and nothing else and my ego could not handle the idea of non existance, so it was life at all costs for me. But the theist is surely more relaxed about this life at all costs thinking if they are sincerely confident this life is just a small part of the overall reality they expect to be enjoying? Perhaps keeping people alive at any cost is cruel and poorly reasoned? yet maybe it is important the emphasis remains on life at all costs with common sense in individual circumstances prevailing, because the risk in changing the way we all think about this is that we make mistakes in our judgement.

By the way, the fact the Bible in both Gen 3, the NT and elsewhere, when talking about how God views mankind, talks in the future tense in relation to whether God sees us as already dead or alive, that is to say whether we have won everlasting life or not. Gen 3 says Adam died that day (in Gods eyes/Gods perspective), and then the NT uses the EXACT same future tense reasoning when talking about us being saved as passing from death to life the moment we are baptised etc. That fact different biblical authors write in this way is one of the many little attention to detail things which all accumulated I beliee to be beyond the wit of man to invent and copy over the ages or to even see in early texts until developed further by later prophets. The inspiration is in these subtleties.

Edited by Mercia2, 26 March 2011 - 02:42 AM.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/




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