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First human head transplant to be performed by doctor critics call 'nuts'

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By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/9/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Severely-ill computer scientist said he's ready to undergo first human head transplant

Suffering from the rare genetic Werdnig-Hoffman muscle wasting disease, diagnosed when he was one, Valery Spiridonov says that he is ready to undergo the first human head transplant.

Valery Spiridonov plans on being the first recipient to a human head transplant (East2WestNews).

Valery Spiridonov plans on being the first recipient to a human head transplant (East2WestNews).

span style="line-height: 15.8599996566772px;">MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The 30-year-old Russian computer scientist says his decision to put his trust to the controversial Italian doctor, Dr. Sergio Canavero is final and he hopes the procedure will happen by next year. However, critics describe the head anastomosis venture (HEAVEN) procedure as "pure fantasy" and the doctor was even compared to the fictional character Dr. Frankenstein.

Spiridonov told the Daily Mail that although he is scared, he also wants the chance of having a normal healthy body as his head is going to be transplanted to a healthy brain dead donor.

He explained that he did not offer himself as a guinea pig, but as a fully aware participant that could help lead science into its next level.

Dr. Sergio Canavero

Dr. Sergio Canavero believes this experimental surgery will be a success.


"In the end it is like with astronauts. Before the first man we sent into space, 300 different scenarios of something going wrong were thought through but when he actually did it, it was the 301st scenario that happened," he said.

According to Spiridonov, his family supports his decision and do not think he is doing this because of his lack of social life, as some people have speculated.

Dr. Canavero and Spiridonov have yet to meet each other in person but have conversed with each other through emails and Skype.

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Although Spiridonov is optimistic, several critics express negative reactions towards the whole thing. Critics believe Dr. Canavero has simplified the dangers on the reattachment of the spinal cord. He is described as "nuts" by the director of medical ethics at the NYU's Langone Medical Centre Arthur Caplan.

HEAVEN is still lacking the necessary funds but Dr. Canavero is confident on the project's success.

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