LONDON — It might sound like something from a science fiction movie, but an Italian doctor says full-body transplants, where a living person’s head would be attached to a donor body, could be possible in two years.
Sergio Canavero, of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy, first proposed the idea of transplanting a head onto someone else’s body in 2013, but he’s moving things forward by announcing the project at the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons in Maryland in June where he’ll seek support and sponsors for it.
Canaveros idea is based on a controversial operation where the whole head of a monkey was transplanted onto a different body. Since 1970 Dr. Robert White, renowned Cleveland (Ohio) neurosurgeon, has performed 35 animal head transplants. White’s animal head transplant experiments were called grotesque and barbaric.
In an article published this month in Surgical Neurology International, Canavero writes that the process hinges on the reconnection of the severed stumps of the two spinal cords involved.
In a procedure he calls “GEMINI spinal cord fusion” he writes that the “key” to it is the “sharp severance of the cords themselves” with minimal damage. Read more…