Ren Xiaoping, a Chinese surgeon, said that he has plans to conduct the transplant of a human head, according to iflscience.com and descopera.ro. The surgeon is currently preparing the medical team that will join him in this process. This surgery would be extremely complicated, and, of course, highly controversial.
The surgery plan consists of two steps: the first step involves sectioning the two heads off their bodies and then making a connection between the blood vessels of the body of the deceased donor and the head of the recipient. The team will also insert a metal plate to stabilize the neck. Another step will be the soaking of the nerve endings of the spinal cord in a substance that will encourage its connection.
The first head transplant in the world?
The specialists from the Medical University in Harbin, China, led by professor Ren Xiaoping, said they successfully transplanted a monkey head after they had been previously managing to perform transplants on mice heads. The Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero has collaborated in this surgery.
In 2013, Canavero has set an ambitious goal: he wanted to succeed with the first human head transplant in two years.
According to the team of doctors the grafted monkey was kept alive for 20 hours. This is what professor Ren Xiaoping added: "We kept the monkey alive 20 hours. Our goal was to prove that we can protect the brain. The brain protection strategy consisted of a hypothermia and the establishment of a cross blood circulation between the donor and the recipient through a system of tubes."
Named 'Dr. Frankenstein'
The doctor Ren Xiaoping was sarcastically called "Dr. Frankenstein" by the media because of his unusual ambition to make the first head transplant on a human patient. After claiming to have been performing a head transplant on a monkey he gained a lot of notoriety..
Patients who volunteer for the head transplant
According to the New York Times, more people in China have volunteered for a head transplant. Wang Huanming, a 62-year-old patient who is paralyzed from the neck down is one of the volunteers.
Accusations of lack of transparency
Arthur Caplan, the head of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, wrote in an article at Forbes that the system from China is not transparent in any way. Caplan says he does not trust the system at all and it is difficult to understand what is happening there.