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    Chinese Surgeon Planning the World’s First Full Head Transplant

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    A Chinese surgeon has announced that he will conduct the world’s first transplant of an entire human head within the next year, much to the dismay of medical leaders across the globe.

    Thomas Manning, Implant Patient
    © AP Photo / Sam Riley, Mass General Hospital via AP
    Earlier this year, Doctor Ren Xiaoping of the Harbin Medical University in China claimed to have transplanted the head of a monkey, but the animal was immobile following the operation and had to be euthanized 20 hours later. Xiaoping was also one of the surgeons on the team who completed the first human hand transplant in the US in 1999.

    Now, the doctor claims he will attempt a head transplant on a human. The operation will involve removing a disabled volunteer’s head and attaching it to the body of a cadaver.

    “The subject’s head would then be connected by the blood vessels, with a metal plate inserted in the neck for support, and an adhesive attached to the spinal cord to help with regrowth,” the Express reported.

    Xiaoping has reportedly been inundated with volunteers, many of whom are paralyzed, willing to risk their lives for a chance at mobility.

    Italian neurosurgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero has also stated that he plans to conduct a head transplant by the end of 2017, but Xiaoping believes he will be ready to perform the macabre and risky surgery sooner.

    The transplant presents a number of medical questions, and many experts have their doubts.

    “Would a brain integrate new signals, perceptions, information from a body different from the one it was familiar with? I think the most likely result is insanity or severe mental disability,” Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, wrote for Forbes.

    “Brain transplantation is not ready for prime time. To attempt to move a brain to a new body given what is known about the medicine and science involved, one would have to be out of one’s mind.”

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    Tags:
    Surgery, Body Transplant, Head Transplant, Harbin Medical University, Ren Xiaoping, China
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