The ordeal of a woman who received a total face transplant is hard for an audience to fathom without seeing it. But Verge science editor Katie Drummond had a challenge beyond potentially making some readers squeamish: how to tell the story with the care and respect Carmen Tarleton deserved.
Tarleton’s ex-husband attacked her with lye and a baseball bat in 2007, and media coverage afterward upset her because it prefaced stories with disclaimers like “‘warning, this footage is graphic and may disturb some viewers,’” Drummond wrote in an e-mail to Poynter.
That horrified Tarleton, Drummond wrote. “The idea that her own face was being treated as if she was some kind of monster, or that her disfigurement made her somehow less human.”
Drummond and the editors at The Verge wanted to respect Tarleton’s feelings.… Read more