This would probably remain what it is, ridiculous! Since the first successful organ transplant in 1954, surgeons have made great strides in their ability to implant organs in people who are seriously ill. At least 21 different organs such as hearts, livers, and kidneys; and tissues such as corneas and bone marrow can now be successfully transplanted into patients to restore health even disability.
Most transplanted organs are from people who have died recently, particularly people involved in accidents injuring the head. Once all brain activity stops, such person is considered legally dead. At this point, the rest of the body is temporarily kept alive pending the permission from the victim’s family to harvest the organs. Living donors can also provide other organs, including a kidney or a portion of their liver. Blood is commonly donated which is rapidly regenerated by the body.
Improved surgical techniques are partly responsible for the success of organ transplants; more important is the development of drugs that can suppress the body’s rejection of the implanted organ without also leaving the patient highly susceptible to infections. Still, how would you place a head transplant?
How would it work?
A head transplant was successfully carried out on a monkey in 1970, but doctors didn’t have the technology to reattach the severed spinal cord, so the monkey was paralyzed and survived for only eight days, dying after the head was rejected by the body’s immune system.
If carried out on a human, the entire procedure is expected to take at least 36 hours and would be performed by Canavero – an Italian Neurosurgeon and a team of 150 doctors and nurses. He estimates that the cost of the operation could stretch beyond $10 million and he’s looking for donors.
Surgeons would sever the head of a person suffering from spinal cord injury or a degenerative muscle disease and then reattach it to a donor body. Both head and body would be cooled to 10-15 degree to extend the time their cells can survive without oxygen. Canavero insists it will be possible to reconnect the severed spinal cord by using his “miracle ingredient”- a glue-like substance called polyethylene glycol.
After the muscles, blood supply and nerves are reattached, the patient would be put into a coma for four weeks to allow the body and head to heal. Once the patient is brought out of coma, he or she would be given powerful immunosuppressant drugs to prevent rejection and would require extensive psychological counselling to deal with identity issues that will result from having a new body.
If successful, Canavero believes patients will be able to feel and move every part of their bodies and even speak in their own voices.
Well, head transplant still remains scientifically impossible, so also was heart transplant and the likes. But what happens to what your minds conceives and believes? I’ll like to remain open-minded and not antagonize a future possibility. I believe in a world of unending possibilities, what do you believe?