An Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero announced on Friday that the procedure to reattach the human head of a corpse to another dead body has been achieved as planned. The scientist, who claimed in 2015 that the full-body transplant in humans would happen within two years, is now claiming that he has 'successfully' transplanted a human head onto a dead body.
"It's important that people stop thinking this is impossible. This is absolutely possible and we're working towards it," Canavero told New Scientist last year.
According to Express, Professor Canavero, director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group said: "It will change everything. It will change you at every level. The first human head transplant, in the human mode, has been realised. The surgery lasted 18 hours. The paper will be released in a few days. Everyone said it was impossible, but the surgery was successful."
The operation was carried out by a team led by Dr Xiaoping Ren of Harbin Medical University, China. The procedure was performed on two dead bodies and the doctors were able to confirm that the connection had been successful through electrical stimulation of the nerves.
This procedure involves severing of the head and the spinal cord and then attach a new one by fusing the spinal cord and reconnecting the nerves, tissues, and muscles in the neck and spine.
The medical community, however, strongly criticised the neurosurgeon and accused him of indulging in a morally wrong and possibly criminal act.
According to The Independent, Jan Schnupp, professor of neuroscience at City University of Hong Kong said: "Indeed, attempting such a thing given the current state of the art would be nothing short of criminal, and as a neuroscientist, I would really quite like the general public to be reassured that neither I nor any of my colleagues think that beheading people for extremely long-shot experiments is acceptable...It is not!"
The medical community thinks the surgery is both 'unethical' and 'dangerous'. In fact, previously, doctors completed a similar procedure on a monkey in 2016. The photos of the procedure show that the monkey had his head stitched onto a body.
The procedure was successful for establishing blood flow and not causing any brain injury. But, the doctors did not try to connect the spinal cord.
According to The Guardian, The monkey never regained consciousness. The paralyzed monkey was reportedly kept alive for less than a day. The tissues were connected, but the monkey was unconscious and did not live long.