A Frankenstein Moment according to some.
A head transplant was just done on a corpse in China – and the Italian Controversial Doctor on Friday said that he and his team are ready to do this on a living person.
The Chief of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group stated that the operation was done with the help of a team who is led by Dr. Xiaoping Ren – The same doctor which managed to do the procedure on monkeys – he grafted a head onto a money’s body.
“The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done. A full head swap between brain-dead organ donors is the next stage,” Was stated at a press conference in Austria – Vienna to be more precise. The Telegraph UK reported: “And that is the final step for the formal head transplant for a medical condition which is imminent.”
The Italian (Canavero) is certain, that the techniques which were used by the surgeons at Harbin Medical University, are going to work for reconnecting the spine, nerves and blood vessels to allow two bodies to live together. Valery Spiridonov (a Russian Computer Scientist) who suffers from a muscle-wasting disease volunteered to become the first head transplant patient, but, the team said that the first recipient is going to be Chinese simply because there is a greater chance to find a Chinese donor body.
Canavero has taken credit for carrying out the surgery on rats and monkey – and said that there are scientific papers who go in great detail on how the procedure should be done on the first live human, which will be released within the next few days. According to USA Today, Canavero stated that the live operation will take place in China, since he fell short on getting his procedure approved, and lacked backing by the medical committees in the US and Europe.
“The Americans did not understand,” Canavero said Friday as he discussed the surgery.
A diamond blade is to be used in order to sever the spinal chords of the donor and recipient. A state of Deep Hypothermia is going to be induced during the recipients brain transfer. Friday, he said that, the techniques with human heads were rehearsed in China, but otherwise, there are no know human trials – USA Today reported. Most of the medical community thinks that there is an ethical issue here. Dr. James Giordano – a professor at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, reported for USA Today that there aren’t enough rules in place nor has there been an enough rigorous study conducted on which someone can base such a procedure.
He argued that there are more positives for the patients if the Italian (Canavero) shifts his focus towards a new field – spinal reconstruction rather than transplants. He also didn’t give Canavero credit for his pioneering work.
“He’s run the ethical flag up the poles and said, ‘Look, I’m not an ethicist, I’m a neurologist and this may be an avant-garde technique, I recognize there is a high possibility for failure, but this is the only way we can push the envelope and probe the cutting edge to determine what works, what doesn’t and why,’” Giordano said.
A biomedical ethicist – Assya Pascalev at the Howard University in Washington, stated for the papers that, there are still a lot of unresolved questions regarding the rights and ID of the recipient.
“It’s not just about a head adjusting to a new body. We might be dealing with a whole new person,” she said.
Taken from our friends at sci-tech.