Body-to-Head Transplants: The Future of Medicine or a Modern-day Frankenstein Fantasy?

hsr_fall2018_finaldraft.pdf28.59 MB

Abstract:

The first human head transplant was already successfully performed on a corpse, a procedure that was carried out by Dr. Sergio Canavero, an Italian neurosurgeon, and his scientific team. The procedure lasted over 18 hours in China and Dr. Canavero has cited “Frankenstein” as his source of inspiration. He went on to express that: ”A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage.”, hoping to one day achieve formal head transplant for imminent medical conditions. However, his bold claims have raised concerns and skepticism from scientists all around the world who wonder not only if a formal head transplant is a feasible procedure, but also if it is ethical to do so. This research seeks to examine the validity and the ethicality of body-to-head transplants.