Friday, September 25, 2015

First Ever Attempted Head Transplant

In the article below, Gillian Mohney discusses the plan of Dr. Sergio Canavero to attempt the first ever human head transplant. By 2017, Dr. Canavero hopes to successfully transfer Valery Sprinidov's head from his body to a donor body. Mr Sprinidov was chosen as the patient for this groundbreaking surgery due to a disease he suffers from, known as Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, which causes his muscles to decay more and more until there are none left, which will eventually lead to the loss of his ability to eat, breathe, and even keep his heart beating. This story in particular has kept my attention due to the fact that, while there are a number of barriers in the way of this surgery coming to fruition, there is a chance that this surgery could work. When it comes to this surgery's impact on the idea of perception, this patient, if surgery is successful, will have to adapt to the signals of a foreign body, as well as the chemicals that body produces. This could give the patient a completely new experience that no one else has had. On the other hand, if this surgery fails, the patient will not be able to breathe, move, or live without machines. If the spinal chord fusion does not work, or does not work as intended, signals could be completely lost or mixed up, causing what some doctors have referred to as a "fate far worse than death." It will be interesting to see how this story progresses going into the future.

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