China's "Doctor Frankenstein" Planning A Human Head Transplant
Dr. Ren Xiaoping is planning and building now his team for the world's first human head transplant on a living human being. They will operate when they are ready.
The transplant involves disuniting two heads from their bodies and then attaching the blood vessels of the body of the dead body and the recipient's head. There would be a metal plate that will be inserted to make the neck stable. Meanwhile, the spinal cord nerve endings would be drenched in glue like substance to help regrowth.
Dr. Ren was dubbed "Dr. Frankenstein" by the media after claiming and conducting a head transplant on a monkey. It lived for 20 hours before it was euthanized for ethical reasons, according to IFL Science.
Some medical experts commented and criticized Dr. Ren's plans of human transplant. Dr. Huang Jiefu, the former deputy minister of health in China stated that the plan was ethically "impossible" and particularly has this question in his mind on how you can put one person's head on another body, according to Daily Mail.
Some doctors also question the possibility of reconnecting the neurons to the spine. Cong Yali, a medical ethicist at Peking University attacked Dr. Ren for drawing negative attention to China. 'I don't want to see China's scholars, transplant doctors and scientists deepening the impression that people have of us internationally, that when Chinese people do things they have no bottom line - that anything goes.'
Dr. Sergio Canavero, Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, said: "Would a brain integrate new signals, perceptions, information from a body different from the one it was familiar with? I think the most likely result is insanity or severe mental disability.
He further said that brain transplantation is not ready for prime time. He added that to try to move a brain to a new body given what is known about the medicine and science involved, one would have to be out of one's mind.
On the other hand, despite the criticisms, several people volunteered for the transplant. This includes a 62-year-old Wang Huanming, who was paralyzed from the neck down six years ago.