What is your opinion on the head transplant

Brain instead of head transplant: Controversial surgeon has new plans

Vienna - How seriously the matter should be taken remains to be seen, but the Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero is making a name for himself again. Made famous by his announcement of a head transplant, Canavero is now aiming for another, no less controversial goal: the transplantation of a brain. The controversial doctor announced this on Friday in Vienna at the presentation of his book "Medicus Magnus", which he wrote with the author and journalist Georg Kindel.

With the transplant of a brain, the physician from Turin, born in 1964, claims to be pursuing an idea that he had before he planned to transplant a head. He did not give specific details, but announced further information in a few months.

Vague information

The first head transplant, which is to be performed by an international team of experts at the Medical University of the Chinese city of Harbin, is imminent, said Canavero. An attempt on corpses took only 18 hours instead of the estimated 36 hours. He did not comment on this and referred to the head of the team, Ren Xiaoping, who will probably provide details in a few days.

For the time being, it remained unknown which patient would undergo the transplant, which experts criticized as unethical. Many international experts would be part of the team, Canavero did not name names and justified this with the fact that he did not want to discredit these doctors. That he himself is often called Dr. Frankenstein does not seem to bother the neurosurgeon: because he was an ethical person.

Insights into Canavero's head

The doctor from Turin obviously sees himself as a thought leader. In "Medicus Magnus" you can read that as a 19-year-old student he sent a scientific article to the renowned science magazine "Nature" and a second to "Science" when he was 20 years old. In addition to the person Canavero, the book deals with the genesis of the head transplant project and the possibilities that medical research will make possible for patients and that currently still seem fantastic.

Several experts contributed to the book, said Kindel, including the geneticist Josef Penninger. "Science fiction is no longer science fiction," said Canavero. Nature has long determined our lives, and now people are taking their fate into their own hands, said the doctor, who assumes that aging can also be treated like a disease. (APA, red, November 17, 2017)