Ever hear the saying “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”? What if you had the chance to walk in someone else’s feet? That could be a reality next year when the first human head transplant is projected to take place. Italian surgeon, Dr. Sergio Canavero will be announcing his plans for HEAVEN-GEMINI during the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons’ 29th Annual Conference in Annapolis, MD this June. HEAVEN-GEMINI stands for head anastomosis venture and the subsequent spinal cord fusion. This means, Canavero will be taking someone’s head off their body, and attaching it to a new one.
Frankenstein, I mean Canavero, has been planning this surgery since July of 2013. He’s now one step closer to making it a reality; a volunteer to undergo the procedure. Valery Spiridonov, a 31-year old Russian computer scientist will be the first human ever to try HEAVEN-GEMINI. Spiridonov has Werdnig-Hoffman Disease, a rare genetic muscle wasting condition. While knowing the risk of death, Spiridonov agreed to the procedure because he said it was worth the risk to escape the disease.
In order to make Canavero’s surgical dream a reality, he will need two surgical teams, 150 people including doctors, nurses, technicians, psychologists, and virtual reality engineers, and a donor body. The donor must be brain-dead and have a similar height, build, and immunotype as Spiridonov. The surgery has gone up from 11 to 20 million dollars and it will take approximately 36 hours to complete.
Canavero claims that he has done this surgery “successfully” on both mice and monkeys, and plans to try it with the first human by late next year. His colleagues on the other hand have deemed him crazy and call the procedure unethical. Take a look at the video below and get your own opinion of the controversial doctor and patient!