Italian Dr Canavero and China’s Dr Ren Xiaoping both plant to complete a medical breakthrough by performing the world’s first head transplant.
Italian Dr Canavero has been saying for some time that he will perform the operation, and has set a date of late 2017.
It would be a medical breakthrough, but China’s Dr Ren Xiaoping has now thrown his hat into the ring by stating that he will perform the operation before then.
Dr Xiaoping made the headlines in early 2016 when he claimed to have performed a head transplant on a monkey.
However, the animal was unable to move following the operation and was euthanized just 20 hours later.
Nonetheless, this has not deterred Dr Xiaoping who has sparked fresh controversy who says he will perform the operation “when we are ready”.
The operation would see two heads removed from their bodies, and switching one of the heads to a more capable body, with volunteers for the operation having some sort of disability.
The subject’s head would then be connected by the blood vessels, with a metal plate inserted in the neck for support, and an adhesive attached to the spinal cord to help with regrowth.
Dr Xiaoping has been inundated with volunteers, including 62-year old Wang Huanming – a retired gas company worked who was paralysed from the neck down six years ago.
Despite boasts from Dr Canavero and Dr Xiaping that they are on the verge of performing the operation, many medical experts have slammed their claims, stating that the technology and the medical know-how are not there yet.
In an article for Forbes, Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, wrote: “Would a brain integrate new signals, perceptions, information from a body different from the one it was familiar with? I think the most likely result is insanity or severe mental disability.
“Brain transplantation is not ready for prime time. To attempt to move a brain to a new body given what is known about the medicine and science involved, one would have to be out of one’s mind.”