Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero just found a volunteer for an experimental head transplant (well, more like a body transplant) procedure he expects to perform in 2017. Valery Spiridonov, a 30-year-old Russian man whose muscles are deteriorating under a rare genetic disorder, has agreed to undergo the 36-hour ordeal for the chance at a new body.
The whole project is set to launch in Annapolis at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons in June, where Canavero will deliver the keynote address and begin recruiting a “staff of 150 doctors and nurses.”
For his part, Spiridonov is resolute. But Canavero’s colleagues in the medical field are less certain. “I would not wish this on anyone,” Hunt Batjer of the American Association for Neurological Surgeons told CNN. “I would not allow anyone to do it to me, there are a lot of things worse than death.”
Arthur Caplan of New York University believes that the patient “would end up being overwhelmed with different pathways and chemistry than they are used to and they’d go crazy.”
Okay, no more thinking about this for a while.