An Italian surgeon says he will be capable of performing the first ever human head transplant in just two years' time.
TIME reports Dr. Frankenstein Sergio Cavanero is planning to assemble a team of doctors in June to complete a radical operation that would place the head of a patient onto the body of a brain-dead body donor.
In an interview with New Scientist, Cavanero said,
If society doesn't want it, I won't do it. But if people don't want it, in the US or Europe, that doesn't mean it won't be done somewhere else. I'm trying to go about this the right way, but before going to the moon, you want to make sure people will follow you.
The operation involves severing the head of a patient with an incurable illness and stitching it onto the spinal cord of a deceased donor body, followed by a three- or four-week, medically-induced coma.
Cavanero says the operation would cost over $11 million and is calling it the ultimate cosmetic surgery. But critics aren't so sure, and are calling the plans absolute fantasy.
Richard Borgens, director of the Center for Paralysis Research at Purdue University, says,
There is no evidence that the connectivity of cord and brain would lead to useful sentient or motor function following head transplantation.
However, the first successful monkey head transplant happened in 1970, and technology has certainly advanced in the medical industry since then.
Still, I'm not sure how quickly I'd jump at the opportunity to have my head cut off by an Italian scientist. Call me crazy.
Citations: First human head transplant could happen in two years (New Scientist ), Could doctors transplant a HEAD onto a body in 2 years time (Daily Mail), First Human Head Transplant Could Happen Within Two Years (Time)