A brave doctor from Italy Sergio Canavero says that he found a way to transplant a head from one body to another. All that he needs is 2 years of time and $10 million.
A new body.
The idea of your head on top of someone else’s body is scary .if you ask me, it’s a stupid idea. But ask somebody who survived a car accident with irreparable damages to the body or somebody with muscle wasting disorder, the response will be very different. They would actually like the idea of discarding their damaged body for a new one.
The idea of a head transplant isn’t a new one. It has existed from the time of modern medical era. The only thing coming in the way is the technological limitation. I don’t know much about it but Dr. Sergio Canavero definitely thinks the technology is ripe for the surgery to take place. Scary thought huh?
Procedure and the problem.
The way to transplant a head is to attach the head of a person to the body of another and then create a whole new person that actually has a different, healthier body that allows him to live a longer and more prosperous life.
Prior to the surgery, the two bodies would be cooled, to preserve them better without oxygen, and then their necks would be sliced open and major blood vessels connected between the donor’s body and the recipient’s head.
The key stage would be the severing and re-attachment of the spinal cord, which would have to be cleanly sliced, and would then present two “spaghetti-like” bundles of nerves, which would need to be connected to each other. Canavero foresees this being done with polyethylene glycol, a material that enables fat in different tissues to mesh.
The neck would then be stitched shut, and the patient placed in an artificial coma for four weeks, allowing the body to heal without movement.
Most of the scientific objections to the procedure focus on the impossibility of restoring body control after the refusing of the spine. Currently, it is commonly impossible to overcome paralysis when a spinal cord is completely severed, even when the rest of the body belongs to the same person. An ambitious procedure performed by Polish doctors last year, managed to restore movement by implanting lab-grown nerve cells into the spine.
“This is such an overwhelming project, the possibility of it happening is very unlikely. I don’t believe it will ever work, there are too many problems with the procedure. Trying to keep someone healthy in a coma for four weeks – it’s not going to happen,” said Harry Goldsmith, a clinical professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, Davis, himself a leading expert on reconnecting spinal tissue that enables paralyzed people to walk again.
Head transplant is nothing new, US surgeon Robert J. White famously performed a head transplant between two monkeys in 1970, with the survivor living for nine days.
But this surgery will be at an estimate cost of $13 million.
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