Dr Sergio Canavero believes that the technology now exists that will allow surgeons to carry out the Frankenstein-style procedure, which has been tested out on animals since 1970.
Up until now there has been no way to successfully reconnect the spinal cord, leaving the subjects paralysed from the point where the transplant was connected.
Recent advances have meant that re-connecting the spinal cord is now possible, and it is believed that the breakthrough means that previously fatal diseases could be cured.
However, other experts have dismissed the idea.
Professor Anthony Warrens, from the British Transplantation Society, told the Sun: “Connecting a head to a body is worthless to human beings today. The whole concept is bizarre.”
In 1970 Robert White successfully transplanted the head of a rhesus monkey onto the body of a second rhesus, and Dr Canavero, a member of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, has proposed using a similar method. He said: “The greatest technical hurdle to such endeavour is of course the reconnection of the donor’s and recipient’s spinal cords. It is my contention that the technology only now exists for such linkage,” he wrote. “It is argued that several up to now hopeless medical conditions might benefit from such procedure.” He believes that it a team of 100 could perform the operation in 36 hours — at a cost of £8.5million. Both heads would have to be removed at the same time, and reconnected within an hour. “This is no longer science fiction. This could be done today — now. If this operation is done it will provide a few people with a substantial amount of extra life,” he said. “The only reason I have not gone further is funding.” However, Dr Calum Mackellar, from the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, added: “This sounds like something from a horror movie.” SOURCE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk
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