Valery Spiridonov is a computer scientist and has a rare and fatal genetic muscle disease called Werdnig-Hoffmann disease. He met with Dr. Canavero to learn more about the complex procedure. The Italian neurosurgeon was in Maryland at a major medical conference at the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons, speaking in detail about the transplant.
Dr. Canavero is planning to transplant Spirodonov’s head onto a healthy donor’s body as soon as 2017.
In an interview with the Daily Mail before he left Moscow, Spiridonov said that he intends to go ahead with the surgery, as long as there is a high expectation for a successful outcome.
“I am not going crazy here and rushing to cut off my head, believe me,” he said. “The surgery will take place only when all believe that the success is 99 percent possible. I do hope that my trip and my participation in this conference will help to push the idea of this surgery, to persuade the medical world, and to make sure we have support from the scientific community.”
The operation has been widely condemned by other doctors. Some have even suggested that the plan is an elaborate hoax. Dr. Canavero believes that Spiridonov will be able to walk within a year of the procedure, and also admitted that he would struggle to get the ethical approval of his peers in the West.
Human head transplants are coming to a hospital near you!
“You have to understand that I don’t really have many choices,” Spiridonov said to the paper. “If I don’t try this chance, my fate will be very sad. With every year, my state is getting worse. I do understand the risks of such surgery. I’m afraid that I wouldn’t live long enough to see it happen to someone else,” he added.
If Dr. Canavero is successful, his procedure could give new hope to people who are paralyzed or suffer from disabilities, and could even be the first step in achieving immortality. “We are one step closer to extend life indefinitely because when I will be able to give a new body to an 80-year-old, they could live for other 40 years,” wrote International Business Times.
I think it would be pretty strange to see an 80-year old face on a 40-year-old body.