Doctor raising money for first human head transplant has a volunteer


#1

[Permalink]


#2

Shouldn’t it be called a body transplant, since the head would retain the original personality?


#3

Hey! It’s Jan in the pan.


#4

The second paragraph of the article sums up why this isn’t likely to happen soon even if there was a high probability of positive outcome:

Someone has a horrific accident and winds up in the hospital, brain dead and on life support. Doctors approach the family about organ donation, but instead of saving as many as eight lives, the family is asked to donate the whole body to save just one individual. Perhaps a quadriplegic with a mind that outmatches their malfunctioning body.

So unless a dying Stephen Hawking is on the verge of perfecting a source of clean energy that will become humanity’s salvation, any medical ethics board is going to go for the “let’s save up to eight lives through individual organ transplants” route.

Edit to add: Come to think of it, if I was Stephen Hawking I’d keep that one in my back pocket just in case. “Oh dear, you say my entire circulatory system is on the verge of collapse and the only way to save my life would be a medically unethical whole-body-transplant procedure? And I was so close to completing the equations for my free energy reactor. I guess humanity will have to wait for all those awesome jetpacks and stuff.”


#5

Came here to say just that. “Head transplant” confused me.


#6

Of course then he’d get a visit from “big coal” and “big oil” to help him from the mortal plane.


#7

There might be some patent issues…
Patent US4666425 - For maintaining metabolic activity - Google Patents


#8

Oddly, I was just thinking about this this morning- and recalled the interesting radio program I heard that expounded upon the link between our gut bacteria and our mood. The mind-body connection is so complex that I think the first person to go through this could find it horrifying or insanity inducing. Or awesome. Go for it.


#9

I hope that by the time this might actually be a possibility beyond the first few research pioneers, we’ll be able to grow most transplant organs in a lab.


#10

The doctor claiming he can do this has not solved the problems involved with connecting the spinal cord. I would want to see several hundred examples of successful spinal surgery before a body transplant.


#11

I’m fine with this…just as long as They DON’T Save Hitler’s Brain!


#12

Heinlein’s documentary on the topic proved that things are more complex than that.


#13

The body transplant would likely be eligible only for current quadriplegics whose own organs are failing.


#14

I’m just going to leave this here:
“This procedure will not work. If it was a good procedure, show me a dog that has undergone it, walking across the stage with a transplanted body. Try it with monkeys first. But he can’t: the result would be, at best, a shambling horror, an animal driven mad with pain and terror, crippled and whimpering, and a poor advertisement for his experiment. And most likely what he’d have is a collection of corpses that suffered briefly before expiring.”


#15

I’m not saying it’s Hitler, but…


#16

I’m confused. Is this a brain getting a new body. Or a body getting a new head?


#17

Or you could just do it old-school. I planned ahead, and made an early division in the womb so that I’ve now got a complete set of genetically compatible spare organs should I ever need them. I keep them stored at a unit in San Francisco.


#18

Just remember our deal: if you croak first I get to graft your arms onto my torso so I can be more productive at multitasking. And I also get to pillage your scalp for extra follicles. I think we should be able to make one full head of hair between us.


#19

“Neck Graft”


#20

Canavero’s main problem is that he needs two volunteers.