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Science & Technology

Skepticism surrounds head transplant success

By T.K. Randall
November 17, 2017 · Comment icon 80 comments

Would you allow Dr Canavero to transplant your head ? Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason
Controversial surgeon Sergio Canavero claims that he has performed the first ever human head transplant.
If the very idea of transplanting the head of a live human being on to the body of a donor might seem as implausible as it is horrifying, then that's because - for the most part anyway, it is.

Neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero has been embroiled in a fair amount of controversy over the last few years following his announcement that he would be attempting to transplant the head of a disabled human patient on to another body in an effort to give him a new lease of life.

The intended patient was to be Valery Spiridonov, a Russian computer scientist who suffers from a genetic muscle-wasting condition called Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, however more recently he revealed that he was (very wisely) not going to go forward with it.
Now though, Canavero has made headlines once again by claiming that he has actually achieved the impossible by carrying out a human head transplant on a corpse and that a similar operation on a live patient is all but inevitable in the very near future.

The problem though, of course, is that operating on a dead body is not going to have provided adequate preparation for performing the procedure on an actual live human.

It's also difficult to imagine anyone actually agreeing to go through with it.

"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: The Guardian | Comments (80)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #71 Posted by Astra. 6 years ago
Why ? it worked in Mars Attacks...   
Comment icon #72 Posted by _KB_ 6 years ago
Just one thought... THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A HEAD TRANSPLANT! it's a body transplant, because the brain (our source of consciousness) stays in the original head, now if you took out the brain swapped out the head, put the brain inside the new head then it would be a head transplant, but if the brain remains inside the head then for all intents and purposes IT'S A BODY TRANSPLANT!
Comment icon #73 Posted by third_eye 6 years ago
  Took a bit of time but ... touché ... ~
Comment icon #74 Posted by Rlyeh 6 years ago
There is no requirement that transgender are also homosexual.  
Comment icon #75 Posted by Nzo 6 years ago
As long as they are not doing it to other species I do not see anything wrong with them doing research on this subject. I would suggest that their next phase should be getting brain dead but otherwise alive donors to do this on. It is gross, to say the least, but so is everything else when it comes to surgeries. I think they would learn a lot from such surgeries, things that can help with understanding many other things about the human body. The only time it should be performed on a healthy human is when they have successfully done it hundreds if not thousands of times with live human brain de... [More]
Comment icon #76 Posted by EBE Hybrid 6 years ago
It could be like going to the car dealership and selecting which option packs you want, some salesman suggesting that for an extra £500 you could have the athlete body and for an extra £1000 you can choose what colour options you want for the limbs torso and appendages!
Comment icon #77 Posted by third_eye 6 years ago
Why did you skirt the touchy issue regarding the genitalia ? ~
Comment icon #78 Posted by EBE Hybrid 6 years ago
I figured "appendages" discreetly covered the issue, just imagine, with a bit of creativity you could have some truly bizarre anything goes combinations. More Frankenfurter than Frankenstien!
Comment icon #79 Posted by third_eye 6 years ago
Exactly ... I'd rather it be on the Genitalia Category than half guessing where or what the appendages halts or starts ... ~
Comment icon #80 Posted by Gromdor 6 years ago
Whenever I see this topic, I always think of some poor guy/gal getting into a horrible accident and the only body available is a body of the opposite gender.  It would definitely redefine gender roles in society.

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