'Whole Again': A Vet Maimed By An I.E.D. Receives Transplanted Penis
This provocative news article is getting a lot of attention today because of these two words: "penis transplant." Certainly gets one's imagination going, doesn't it?
Headline aside, every war brings home new medical and psychological wounds that our veterans must live with every day and our health care system must learn to treat effectively. While many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home alive, they are also not coming home intact. Whether a veteran is suffering from medical or psychological scars (or often both), many of them hope to resume their sexual relationships with their partner once home. Or if they're single, they hope to find a partner and build a life together. Sexual functioning represents "normalcy" to many but it also is about connection, one's sense of self, their ideas about their future, and as the article states, a wholeness. Genito-pelvic injuries have far-reaching consequences. We need to remove the shock, stigma, and shame surrounding them and treat these brave individuals with the respect and dignity they so greatly deserve. I'm happy to see this article illustrates the beautiful humanness in it all.