There Will Probably Never Be a Human Head Transplant

Faith Castro
November 19, 2017

"For too long nature has dictated her rules to us", Canavero said in a press conference earlier this week, in which he claimed to have successfully completed a human head transplant on a corpse. The Italian neurologist said he carried out the posthumous operation in China and that his newly developed techniques for re-connecting the spine, nerves and blood vessels, allowing the head and body to work in tandem, were a success.

Dr Xiaoping Ren, who grafted a head onto the body of a monkey in 2016, carried out the operation, which took 18 hours.

Italian Professor Surgeon Sergio Canavero, Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, said they would soon be moving to a living human. "But the surgery was successful", The Telegraph quoted him as saying.

According to the newspaper, Canavero did not provide any concrete proof for his claim, but said that "the paper will be released in a few days".

A Russian man named Valery Spiridono has said he wants to be the first person to have his head transplanted onto another body.

Professor Canavero added that the team's next move was to make full head exchanges between dead brain organ donors.

Canavero
OOOM Agency

Professor Canavero's team had previously claimed to have successfully transplanted the heads of rats and monkeys.

"The first human head transplant, in the human mode, has been realised".

While it's being called a head transplant, it's technically a body transplant, where the recipient with a functioning brain will have his head transplanted to a donor's body who has been declared brain dead, USA Today reported.

Canavero cites studies on animals to support his plan, but other doctors say that "you're not going to jump from rodent to human" and that Canavero's plan is "criminal".

Professor Canavero has gained fame and some notoriety for his controversial claims about the first head transplant.

The medical community thinks the surgery is both "unethical" and "dangerous".

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