An Italian neurosurgeon and a Chinese medical team announce that they have successfully completed a complete transplant of a donor’s head on the body of a recipient, both of whom died.


Indeed ; “The first human head transplant was performed,” says Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero at a press conference in Vienna on 17 November. “The surgery lasted 18 hours. Everyone said it was impossible, but it was a success. ” So, and
for the first time in the world, the body of a deceased donor is found under the head of a receiver, who has also died. The objective of this operation
is to prepare to attempt the procedure with a live recipient patient. The transplant was successfully completed.

Living-body transplantation could indeed be considered for some patients suffering from incurable neuromuscular diseases. Several people have already volunteered.

A 31-year-old Russian girl, Valery Spiridonov, with Werdnig-Hoffmann’s disease, hopes to be the first to benefit.

For too long, nature has dictated its rules, argues Sergio Canavero, taken over by Sciences et Avenir. We have entered an age where we can take our destiny into our own hands. It will change everything.

Theresultsofhisoperation, conducted in China, shouldbepublishedshortly in the journal SurgicalNeurology, scrutinizedby surgeons aroundtheworld.

As for the future, some experts do not hide their concern about such a procedure. Asked a few weeks ago by Sciences and
Future, neurosurgeon Marike Broekman of the School of Medicine at Harvard University (USA), also president of
The Ethical Legal Committee of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS) explained that, from his point of view, medicine was not ready, “neither technically nor psychologically”.

In the current state of things, she said, this procedure will not improve the patient’s health, as it is unlikely to find a neurological function, or even survive!



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Pière J. Robin
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