VIDEO: Head transplant patient could face fate “worse than death”
The Werdnig-Hoffmann disease sufferer who has volunteered to undergo the world’s first head transplant may face a fate “worse than death”.
Dr Hunt Batjer, president elect of the American Association for Neurological Surgeons discussed the proposed head transplant operation with reporters from CNN, saying:
“I would not allow anyone to do it to me as there are a lot of things worse than death.”
“I would not wish this on anyone,” he continued.
A head transplant operation was conducted on a monkey 45-years-ago which left the animal unable to move or breath as the spinal chord was not connected properly.
It lived for eight days.
It is feared that if the operation were to be unsuccessful it could leave the patient suffering levels of insanity never experienced before as the new body rejects the head.
But Valery Spiridonov says he’s happy to have the experimental surgery carried out on him despite the risks.
Russia Today interviewed Mr Spiridonov
The operation is to be conducted by a 150 strong team of doctors and nurses led by Italian surgeon Dr Sergio Canavero.
Dr Canavero's TED talk on his proposed head transplant operation
Dr Canavero has subsequently been described as “nuts” by Arthur Caplan, the director of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Centre.
Caplan warned that the patients “would end up being overwhelmed with different pathways and chemistry than they are used to and they’d go crazy”.