China gears for first human head transplant

China’s medical practitioners might soon rock the scientific world.

Dr. Ren Xiaoping, together with Italian doctor Sergio Canavero will perform the first and historic human head transplant very soon.

Ren, from Harbin Medical University said that he and Canavero are now practicing the procedure on two corpses by reconnecting the spinal cord and blood vessels of the head of one body to the other one in an 18-hour experiment and its results will be announced in the coming days.

“The head transplant is a solution for all clinically incurable diseases,” said Ren. “Our society is an open one and our job is to solve scientific and technological problems in our professional field.”

Meanwhile the true operation will follow the same procedure by attaching a disease-free head to the healthy body of a brain-dead patient. They will not reveal the identities of the Chinese donor and recipient.

 

US$100 million tab

Canavero estimates the procedure will cost up to US$100 million and involve several dozen surgeons and other specialists.

He will simultaneously sever the spinal cords of the donor and recipient with a diamond blade. The brain will be cooled to a state of deep hypothermia to protect from immediate death.

The recipient and donor will be in a sitting position to facilitate what’s expected to be more than 24 hours of work to separate and then reconnect vertebral bones, jugular veins, the trachea, oesophagus and other neck structures. 

Machines will help the recipient breathe and pump blood through the body as the patient will be kept in a drug-induced coma.

Canavero revealed that they will be doing the operation in China because American and European medical societies would not permit this controversial procedure in contrast to the willingness of the Communist country to support the experiment.

 

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018
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