This is certainly not your average headline. Gizmodo and Newser reported that Italian neurosurgeon, Sergio Canavero is set to perform an historical and first-time medical procedure that could either result in a miracle or a tragedy.
In the winter of 2017, Canavero, along with his Chinese colleague Ren Xiaoping, will perform the first human head transplant. The patient: Russian computer scientist, Valery Spiridonov. The 30 year-old patient suffers from Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, a rare genetic muscle-wasting condition.
The first question many may ask is: Will Valery be the same person with the same thoughts and memories? A big concern is whether the spinal cord will fuse properly. Gizmodo wrote that ‘even if everything goes well, there’s no telling whether Spiridonov’s mental capacities or personality will remain the same.’
As far as who the head donor will be, Spiridonov told RT, “It’s impossible to predict who the donor will be. There is only one technical constraint: the body should be of the same race as the recipient.”
The procedure costs $11 million and will most likely take up to 36 hours.