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Science & Technology

Human head transplant still moving forward

By T.K. Randall
May 14, 2016 · Comment icon 23 comments

Can a live head really be placed on to another body ? Image Credit: PD - Mikael Haggstrom
The controversial surgical procedure is set to take place at a facility in China as early as next year.
The surgeon who will be performing the procedure, Dr Sergio Canavero, maintains that, despite limited success during animal testing, transplanting someone's head on to a new body is not only possible but could offer patients with debilitating illnesses a whole new lease of life.

The patient in this case will be 30-year-old Valery Spiridonov, a Russian computer scientist who suffers from a genetic muscle-wasting condition called Werdnig-Hoffmann disease.

In what would undoubtedly be one of the most daring operations in history, Dr Canavero and his team of 150 doctors plan to completely remove Spiridonov's head and attach it to a donor body.
The procedure, which has been dubbed HEAVEN ("head anastomosis venture"), will take upwards of 36 hours to complete with no guarantee of success. There is also the matter of reconnecting the spinal cord, a procedure which Dr Canavero refers to as "GEMINI".

"Scientists everywhere now have hard proof of the viability of the Gemini Heaven protocol and I am sure that Russian surgeons will be interested in joining their Chinese colleagues' effort[s]," he said.

Not everyone however is optimistic about the chance of everything going according to plan.

"I would not wish this on anyone," said Dr Hunt Batjer of the American Association for Neurological Surgeons. "I would not allow anyone to do it to me as there are a lot of things worse than death."

Source: Sputnik International | Comments (23)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
If this works, Dr. Canavero will be ahead of his time. If this "works" we need a DNA check of the head and body to see that they don't match.
Comment icon #15 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 8 years ago
With nano medicine coming I don't see y this is necessary..
Comment icon #16 Posted by FlyingAngel 8 years ago
With nano medicine coming I don't see y this is necessary.. I do. Medecine can only fix at the cellular level. What if you have legs chopped of after an accident? Internal injury
Comment icon #17 Posted by poohbear 8 years ago
The subject sickens me...To hell with humanity. It's the poor bloody animals I feel sorry for.What's next 'The Man with Two Brains?' or have they got Maos head in a freezer somewhere? This isn't a heart or a kidney.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Ghost Orchid 8 years ago
I'm wondering what will this man go through mentally because he never had a a fully functional body......... Will he have phantom sensations, like feeling pain of his previous body? Just weird thoughts popping up............
Comment icon #19 Posted by alibongo 8 years ago
If someone had a head transplant because of a head injury, who would they be?
Comment icon #20 Posted by djfxw 8 years ago
If it fails, they can put it in a jar like in Futurama.
Comment icon #21 Posted by CJ1983 8 years ago
I see too many possibilities for this to work out well for the patient.
Comment icon #22 Posted by alibongo 8 years ago
If this procedure becomes available on the NHS, I'd like a new head and a new body.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Chortle 8 years ago
It still seems that Dr Sergio Canavero is getting a-head of himself if the trials on animals failed. This all seems strangely reminiscent of the second X-Files movie.

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