The concept of a human head transplant still sounds very strange to a lot of people. It has never been successfully done before and sounds more like science fiction than real life. Sergio Canavero is the surgeon set to perform this operation later this year. However, the original patient for the surgery has been replaced by someone else. This does not mean the transplant will be delayed.
Russian Billionaire Will Not Be the First Patient
When news of this human head transplant first broke, there were more questions than answers. While some things have been clarified in recent months, the success rate of this operation is still slim to none according to industry experts. Detaching a human’s head and attaching a different body while expecting the brain to function as before is a very delicate operation. Since there is no successful precedent for such a surgery, the world will be watching closely.
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of questions which need to be addressed. Perhaps the biggest mystery of all is why Russian billionaire Valery Spiridonov will no longer be the first patient to have the surgery. This news comes as quite a surprise to a lot of people since nothing we know of changed to affect his decision. The date was almost set in stone, and preparations were seemingly on track to ensure the surgery would progress as originally planned.
Instead, the new participant is an unnamed Chinese patient. The news was delivered by Dr. Canavero’s press representative. Apparently, there was a good reason for suddenly moving the transplant to take place in China, and it made a lot more sense to get a Chinese donor. It sounds like a logical explanation, although many people still have their doubts as to whether or not other factors may be at play here. It is not impossible to think Spiridonov got cold feet as the date of the surgery drew closer.
It is unclear if Canavero has had any interaction with Spiridonov since this news was made public. A lot of people are curious as to how the Russian billionaire responded to the news. Unless this was his decision, one would expect the news would be frustrating. Assuming the head transplant succeeds, it is possible more surgeries like this one will take place in the future. That would certainly leave the door open for Spiridonov to get a new body for his head, if he were still inclined to pursue that option.
It appears Spiridonov is now looking at other solutions to treat his Werdnig-Hoffman disease. Even if his relationship with Dr. Canavero has soured a bit, the Russian billionaire has no plans to give up just yet. Instead, he will pursue undisclosed treatment options. He seems glad to see the head transplant happen to someone else, although it is difficult to judge his true emotions at this stage. To be sure, a lot of people in his position would not necessarily want to be the first patient.
The human head transplant remains a very touchy subject. Even if the surgery succeeds later this year, there will still be a lot of opposition to it. Dr. Canavero remains confident his patient will be able to move and speak with his or her old voice as soon as they are out of the artificial coma post-surgery. These are very bold claims which need to be backed up by solid evidence. The world will be watching when this surgery takes place, although we can only hope it will not be televised or streamed on the internet as it happens.