Italian surgeon and doctors says he can really transplant a head onto a body in 2 years time

February 26, 2015 11:50 am

How is this even possible? Italian
surgeon, (pictured above), believes that head
transplants are possible. That is taking a patient’s head and grafting
it onto a healthy body. This will be for paralysed patients and those
with incurable illness. Dr. Canavero said both heads would be removed at
the same time and then he would glue the patient’s head onto the
donor’s body. Sounds to me like a crazy doctor. If you remove someone’s
head, is that not automatic death? Biko read the report after the cut
and tell me maybe I’m the one who’s not understanding it…before I
yawere trying to understand…

 

Culled from Mail Online

It sounds like the plot of a bad horror film, but doctors are gearing up to do the world’s first head transplant.
Italian surgeon Sergio
Canavero wants to take the head from someone with an incurable illness
and graft it on to a healthy body. He claims the first operation could
be done in just two years’ time.

 

The
£7.5million body swap would initially be used to give a new lease of
life to paralysed people – including those with spinal cord injuries
similar to those sustained by the late actor Christopher Reeve.

 

People with muscle-wasting diseases and those whose organs are riddled with cancer could also have their head put on a new body.
Those
with motor neurone disease, the condition suffered by Stephen Hawking
and portrayed by Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne in the film The Theory of
Everything, might also benefit.
Eventually, the technique could be used to extend the life of healthy people in the ‘ultimate cosmetic surgery’.
Critics have
described the plans as ‘pure fantasy’, but Dr Canavero claims all the
necessary techniques exist and that he just needs to put them together.
It is already more than 40 years since the first monkey head transplant
and a basic operation on a mouse has just been done in China.
Dr
Canavero already has a long list of potential patients, and will
announce his plans at a top medical conference this summer in a bid to
get the backing needed to do the first transplant in 2017.
The
location has yet to be decided, but the surgeon, from the Turin
Advanced Neuromodulation Group, says he would love to do it in London.
The
new body would come from a normal transplant donor who is brain dead.
Both the donor and the patient would have their head severed from their
spinal cord at the same time, using an ultra-sharp blade to give a clean
cut. The patient’s head would then be moved on to the donor’s body and
attached using a ‘glue’ called polyethylene glycol to fuse the two ends
of the spinal cord together.
The
muscles and blood supply would be stitched up, before the patient is
put in a coma for four weeks to stop them moving while the head and body
heal together.
If
that doesn’t sound bizarre enough, they would then be given small
electric shocks to stimulate their spinal cord and strengthen the
connections between their head and new body.
When
the patient is brought out of their medically-induced coma, they should
be able to move, feel their face and even speak with the same voice,
this week’s New Scientist reports. Powerful immunosuppressant drugs
should stop the new body from being rejected and intensive psychological
support would also be provided.
Dr Canavero says he believes it would be ethically sound to carry out the procedure when people have no other hope of a cure.
However, the ethical arguments extend past the transplant itself.
For
instance, if the patient went on to have children, they would
biologically belong to the donor because the sperm or eggs would have
come from the new body.
Initially,
a shortage of donors means that the surgery would be limited to those
with severe illness. But eventually, it could be used to allow healthy
people to live longer.
Dr Canavero said that if science reaches the stage when human cloning is easy, a 60-year-old could make a copy of themselves.
They
could then put their old head on a new, healthy body made from their
own DNA – meaning they would keep their memories and personality.
William
Matthews, chairman of the American Academy of Neurological and
Orthopaedic Surgeons, said: ‘I embrace the concept of spinal fusion and I
think there are a lot of areas that a head transplant could be used but
I disagree with Canavero on the timing.
‘He thinks it’s ready, I think it’s far into the future.’
But
Harry Goldsmith, a California doctor who has carried out one of the few
operations that has allowed someone with a spinal cord injury to walk
again, said: ‘I don’t believe it will ever happen.’ 

Culled from UK Daily Mail

Tags:
shared on wplocker.com