Italian neurosurgeon, Sergio Canavero shocked the entire world when he set out to do, which if successful will be arguably the greatest advancement in medicine, a human head transplant in December 2017. He claims to have successfully performed the operation on mice and dogs and feels that he is now ready to perform this life altering surgery on a human. The patient is said to be a 30 year old Russian Computer scientist, Valery Spiridonov, who is victim to a rare terminal disease known as Werdnig-Hoffmann. He is well aware of risks of this procedure and believes that either way it will be of immense importance, in case of a failure it will assist in the advancement of science and if, hopefully it succeeds it will permit him to live a more normal life. Either way he is determined to go through this process.
The procedure is expected to encounter several challenges which makes people wonder, what are the odds of this being a success? Such delicate operations must be conducted with great care to the extent that the speed must be exact as well. The biggest question that arises is that how will the body react to a foreign organ, will it last long enough or immediately react? Death due to loss of blood and failure to fuse the spinal cord in order to make the brain and spinal cord connect were some problems experienced during the animal testing phase.
Putting aside the risks and the points brought up but critics questioning it morality and ethnicity, the biggest plus point of this procedure is that it allows someone will a disability or even a terminally ill patient use his body/mind up to its fullest, to capitalize on opportunities which otherwise would be denied to them and above all to live life like a normal human being. Scientists believe that transplanting a head on a different body in order to prolong human life by avoiding a terminal disease which has no cure, is in fact equivalent to cheating death. Hence the question now on everyone’s mind is that is such a procedure capable of allowing humans to cheat death and if so what will be the futuristic consequences. If this transplant is successful who knows what the future might hold for us.