Life imitating art – Just like in the movies, a person has volunteered to be the first human to have his head transplanted to another person’s body in what can be likened to the fate of fictional creature in the Frankenstein novel. Valery Spiridonov, age 30 and a computer scientist from Russia, volunteered for his head to be severed and transplanted to another person’s body. Spridonov, has been suffering the Werdnig-Hoffman disease, a rare genetic condition caused by deficient SMN (Survival of Motor Neuron) which causes pervasive splicing defects and muscle atrophy.
The head transplant operation (also named Heaven-Gemini operation) is the brainchild of Italian neuroscientist Dr. Sergio Canavero in 2013. This procedure will require an estimated 36 hours to complete and conducted by at least 100 surgeons.
According to Spiridonov, he has difficulty in controlling his body and help is needed every single time. He added that he is afraid and understands the possible complications of the surgery, including death. However, he also knows that he does not have other options.
Dr. Harry Goldsmith, a clinical professor of neurosurgery in the University of California, Davis is skeptical with the whole procedure stating that “there are too many problems” with the operation.
Spiridonov anticipates that the operation will push through the early part of next year.