The first head transplant will be done in China and in less than ten months .
This was revealed by the Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero during an interview with the German magazine Ooom in April of that same year.
Beyond the ethical considerations, which undoubtedly have, beyond the controversy and even controversial that may result for many this issue, it remains in the eyes of the scientific community a whole revolution and a challenge to be Very pending.
Also, if until just a few months ago the name of Valery Spiridonov had been confirmed as the first patient with whom to carry out the surgery, the young man himself has decided to decline the offer.
At present, the one that everyone already knows as the “Frankenstein” of the 21st century has a new Chinese patient , a person whose name remains anonymous.
This will become in the next few months the first person to undergo a head transplant.
The dream of a neurosurgeon, a challenge so far unsuccessful for science
Sergio Canavero is a member of the Advanced Neuromodulation Group, in Turin (Italy).
As he explains in each interview, his greatest aspiration as a scientist is to become the first doctor to successfully carry out the first head transplant.
- It is important to highlight the nuance “with success”. So far, all the attempts carried out with animals have been unsuccessful.
- Dr. Canavero explains that, to this day, technology has not accompanied such a challenge, such a purpose.
- However, technological barriers are now lower, more qualified staff and much more sophisticated means. All this considerably increases the chances of success.
- On the other hand, and despite having a large part of the scientific community against him, our current “Frankenstein” of the 21st century bases part of his work on the only person who managed to transplant the head of an ape into another body.
- This milestone was achieved by Dr. Robert White in the 1970s. Although, yes, he failed to connect the most essential part: the nervous system.
- It was in 2013 when neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero wrote an article explaining the viability of head transplantation for a series of obvious reasons:
At present we have the right technology to establish a correct connection with the spinal cord .
The project, in his opinion, is more than viable.
Head transplant: a reality that is getting closer and closer?
If nothing changes, the first head transplant operation will be carried out in China throughout this 2017. Something like that could be, according to Dr. Canavero, several things.
- The first is to return mobility to any quadriplegic or paraplegic person.
- Also, and if this were not enough, by having a “new body” (offered, of course, by a brain-dead donor) the person can avoid diseases such as cancer , nerve degeneration and many other types of adverse medical conditions. .
- The ethical implication, as well as the ethical-religious polemics, pursues from the beginning the person in charge of this objective, of this scientific dream.
- However, and here comes one of the nuances and novelty to which reference, the young man who had volunteered has declined the offer.
New patient, new date and new scenario for the first operation
Valery Spiridonov was until now the precious patient “0”. This young man suffers from spinal muscular atrophy and scant life expectancy.
However, after two years of work with Dr. Canavero, this can not assure him what he most craves: to walk again, to have a normal life and even “survive” to the operation itself.
- Therefore, the young Russian has decided to undergo surgery much more “conservative” and with which to have less pain and to face the days that remain in a more dignified.
- Dr. Sergio Canavero, meanwhile, has found another disabled patient with serious mobility problems with which to pursue his project.
The country chosen and who has offered the most facilities is China.
Thus, after a press conference held in this same country a few weeks ago, it has been announced that the revolutionary operation will be carried out in a hospital enabled for it.
The exact day is not yet known, but the intervention will last at least 72 hours .
So far, and for every information transmitted by those responsible for this scientific challenge, everything seems to be advantages: the risks of rejection, for example, are non-existent because the brain, as they themselves explain, is a “neutral” organ, unlike of the heart, liver or kidneys …
They have the best equipment and the best means.
The hopes are very high and it is only possible, of course, to await the outcome of this project which, beyond the astonishing and disturbing that it may result, can undoubtedly give a whole turn to the world of science and medicine.
We will be pending, therefore, of new information …