We have had successful heart transplants, kidney transplants, liver transplants and even intestine transplants but no one has ever thought or attempted a human head transplant until Sergio Canavero announced that he would attempt the first ever human head transplant couple of years back.
In Sergio Canavero’s research paper, he explains that the transpalnt is possible by using Hypothermia Protocol. That is to cool the body-recipient’s head at a low temperature so that the surgeons can disconnect and reconnect the head to the donor’s body. The re-connection of the head should take place within an hour as Mammals can be sustained without blood for only an hour at most.
Obviously there is lot more than just cutting someones head and then attaching it to some other body, you can read Sergio’s full article here
In theory, this transplant could actually work. It’s like all pieces of the puzzle fit in perfectly but a theory is just a theory. Travelling in time is possible by going faster than the speed of light is also a theory but in practicality we cannot go that fast (unless you are the flash!). Of course in the next 50 years we might achieve going faster that the light but until that day comes, it’s just a theory that MAY or MAY NOT be correct. Just because something makes sense in a theory, it does not mean that it will actually work in a practical setting.
BUT! you could argue that the first head transplant carried on a monkey was successful in china. However, I fail to see how this transplant is a success. The monkey eventually died in just nine days because the body rejected the monkey’s head.
We say a heart transplant is successful when the person who went through the surgery lives a normal life, so how can you say that the monkey had a successful head transplant! yes,the monkey was not paralyzed anymore because he had a new body but he lived for just a week.
Transplanting an organ like heart or kidney is different but a head transplant involves the brain, The brain that controls our whole body and is known to be most complex organ in our nervous system.
With the kind of technology we have, Sergio’s first ever human transplant may work but there is also a possibility that it may not work and all we can do is only wish for the best. I hope that Valery Spiridonov ( volunteer for the transplant) survives and leads a life that he always wished for.
image of Valery Spiridonav
Comment your views below on Sergio Canavero’s human head transplant
Canavero, S. (2013). HEAVEN: The head anastomosis venture Project outline for the first human head transplantation with spinal linkage (GEMINI). Surgical Neurology International, 4(2), 335. http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/2152-7806.113444 ( Article)