Controversial doctor Sergio Canavero is back; this time, he’s claiming that we could soon be successfully transplanting human brains.
The claim stems from the idea that even if our bodies continue to decay through the years, our brains often remain as capable as ever, save for cases when certain illnesses are involved.
We might be one step closer to sci-fi medicinal breakthroughs
However, Canavero seems to have solved this issue, at least on paper.
He believes we could offset our aging process by transporting the human brain from an old, decayed body into a younger, much more agile one.
Italian scientist Sergio Canavero and Chinese surgeon Xiaoping Ren are developing a plan to transplant a human head.
Their focus is to help patients with spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
Can it work? Is it ethical? pic.twitter.com/YdG0pL8j3S
— Dr Ola Brown, MFR (@NaijaFlyingDr) March 24, 2022
The article where he outlines this procedure and its feasibility was published in the Surgical Neurology International magazine, where Canavero works as an editor.
This idea bears a striking similarity to Canavero’s 2015 claim that a full head transplant was possible. This quickly turned into international news when he followed it up with a statement that he’d found a willing subject.
Many shrugged it off as yet another publicity stunt, as it seemed to line up with an upcoming video game release from equally bombastic Hideo Kojima, the creator of the world-renowned franchise Metal Gear Solid.
However, the world’s top physicians regarded the procedure as not based on current medicine, adding it has yet to be successfully performed on a human subject.
In 2015 Ren and an Italian surgeon, Sergio Canavero, began collaborating on human head transplants. In 2017 Canavero announced his intention to perform the surgery. To date, this has not happened. pic.twitter.com/L4Z9fUw48j
— Stone Age Herbalist (@Paracelsus1092) March 19, 2022
Is it playing God?
His latest paper theorizes about transplanting a human brain into the head of another immuno-conditioned body, or perhaps a clone; albeit he didn’t clarify how one would procure this “clone.”
He then goes over what he describes as a “robotic scooping machine” that would “pluck” the brain from the skull.
Canavero also provided possible solutions to dozens of questions regarding the procedure, such as nerve and blood vessel reconnections, without any scientific research to back up any of his claims.
Apart from outlining his theories on how the transplant would work, Canavero heavily criticized the lack of technologies that would make it possible, stating it’s a clear-cut sign of the direction we should be going in.
Sergio Canavero claimed he was on the cusp of a successful head transplant. People, especially the press, seemed to take him at (original) face value, but the most cursory of fact-checking suggested he was in need of a reality transplant pic.twitter.com/gws6Rphtij
— Medlife Crisis (Rohin) (@MedCrisis) May 11, 2022
Naturally, he admits that a bundle of rehearsals on dead subjects is necessary. This would be followed by tests on brain-dead organ donors, raising a number of questions on the ethics of the transplant.
The ultimate goal here is to extend the human life expectancy and allow us to live more years in a capable body. This isn’t much different from the tech some are advocating should be used on embryos to remove unwanted genetics.
Then again, who are we to interfere with God’s design? Maybe there’s more to why we’ve never successfully performed a transplant of this kind.
Anyways, if the project lives and becomes reality, we’ve got a few candidates in mind that might use the brain transplant!