June 23, 2015 11:00 pm

Head Transplant, Breakthrough Health Science


Head transplant is a surgical operation which involves the grafting of one organism’s head onto the body of another.

Dr Sergio Canavero, an Italian neurosurgeon has declared that he wants to attempt a human head transplant in 2017, but many others feel that the procedure won’t be clinically useful in people for a long time, if ever.


The surgery of head transplant will be firstly done for Mr. Valery Spiridonov, who has volunteered to do the head transplant.

Mr. Spiridinov, from Russia, suffers from Werdnig Hoffman disease, a muscle wasting condition that seriously diminishes his physical capabilities and left him dependent on a wheelchair. Now he has announced his intention to become the world’s first subject of a full head transplanted onto a healthy body in a day-long operation.


According to Telegraph UK, Dr Canavero says the whole process is “90 per cent” guaranteed to succeed, though he admitted: “Of course there is a marginal risk. I cannot deny that.” However, Mr Spiridinov is more optimistic about his head transplant plan, due to this is the way out for him to be more independent and no more rely on his wheelchair.

As reviewed on CNN, the proposed surgery is highly controversial and its feasibility has been questioned by experts. A natural question is whether a living person with Spridinov’s head and someone else’s body would be the same person as Spridinov, or it will creating new person.

The question came up with 2 possibilities answer :

  1. Spridinov’s head is where his brain is. Since his brain is the main control of his mental life. So it means the person with Spridinov’s head and someone else’s body would be mentally continuous as Spridinov.
  2. The person who wakes from head transplant surgery might have no consciousness of Spridinov’s past and no sense of himself as Spridinov. Instead, the surgery would bring into existence a new person who happens to have with Spridinov’s head.

The impact of head transplants on our mental lives remains unknown. But however, if this head transplants succeed, it will absolutely bring a breakthrough in health science. Head transplants will be the solution for people who have certain types of cancer or muscle-wasting diseases in the body, but brains are untouched by injury or disease.