Is this Russian man getting a head transplant or a body transplant?
Thirty-year-old Russian man Valery Spiridonov, born with a muscle wasting disease, says that he is prepared to volunteer to be the first human being to recieve "a head transplant." Dr. Sergio Canavero has created controversy in the world of neurosurgery by claiming that he could perform the task of putting a live human's head onto a donated body and now, at least one part of his ambitious plan is in place: a patient.
Spiridonov suffers from Werdnig-Hoffman disease which typically comes with a life expectancy of 20 years. He works as a computer scientist and says that he wants to try the procedure for the sake of making a scientific breakthrough. He tells the Daily Mail, "In the end it is like with astronauts. Before the first man we sent into space, 300 different scenarios of something going wrong were thought through but when he actually did it, it was the 301st scenario that happened."
A two-year dialogue has been going on between Spiridonov and Dr. Canavero and they say they have never discussed failure. But before the procedure is even performed the biggest task will be recruiting the 150-doctor team that Canavero says he'll need. That could be difficult because of the high levels of risk involved, including the very real possibility of the body rejecting the transplant days later. Dr Hunt Batjer, president elect of the American Association for Neurological Surgeons, was matter of fact when speaking about the procedure with CNN, "I would not wish this on anyone. I would not allow anyone to do it to me as there are a lot of things worse than death."