In December, surgical medicine should enter a new era with the first head transplant on a person with atrophied body.
This historic operation, to be held in December 2017, will be led by Dr. Sergio Canavero, a renowned Italian neurosurgeon practicing at Harbin University, China. He will be surrounded by a team of 150 doctors and nurses for this surgical operation which promises to be dantesque .
The volunteer patient is a young Russian man named Valery Spiridonov, aged 30, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by muscle weakness and atrophy . His head will be moved from his body to be grafted on the body of a dead brain donor. Between these two stages, she will be put in hypothermia in order to avoid a potential bleeding.
“My personal motivation concerns my desire to improve my living conditions, to reach the stage where I can take care of myself, where I would be independent of others … I need people to help me every day , Even twice a day because I need someone to get up from bed and get in the wheelchair, which makes my life very dependent on others. If there is a way to change that, I think I should try, “he explains with lucidity.
Obviously, this surgery creates some turmoil within the scientific community . Some fear that putting a head on a foreign body can be dangerous for brain and mental health. If similar operations have been successful on animals, the success of this on a human being remains to be proved.
If the operation is scheduled for December, there are still many months left for Dr. Sergio Canavero and his team to test and perfect their method on human corpses.