A Russian man, Valery Spiridonov, has volunteered to be a patient in the first procedure of human head transplant reports CBS news. The 31 year old suffers from Werdnig-Hoffman Disease, a rare and often fatal genetic disorder that breaks down muscles and kills nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, confining him to a wheel chair and restricting him to feeding and typing only.
The procedure is a brain child of an Italian neuroscientist Dr. Sergio Canavero and his first recruitment Chinese surgeon Dr. Xiaoping Ren.
“Removing all the sick parts but the head would do a great job in my case,” Spiridonov told the magazine. “I couldn’t see any other way to treat myself.”
Many scientists have spoken out against Canavero and Ren’s plans, accusing them of promoting junk science and creating false hopes. One critic went so far as to say the scientists should be charged with murder if the patient dies, a very likely outcome according to the report by CBS.
However, Dr. Canavero says the transplant has a 90 percent plus chance of success. The transplant requires 80 surgeons and will cost tens of millions of dollars. Scientists have questioned the identity the transplant, since it works on the assumption that the head and brain transfer unto another body would mean that the whole self, personality, consciousness would automatically transplant itself among other issues.
The Doctor has said that the first human head transplant will happen in 2017