A disabled man wants to be 'beheaded' in 2017 to get a new, healthy body. It has never been attempted to place a head on another body, but the surgeon behind the transplant believes the technology is ready for it.
During a 36-hour operation, 100 doctors and assistants must place the head of an invalid on a healthy body.
Critics say nerves in the spinal cord will sustain permanent injury, paralyzing the patient. But the surgeon behind the idea doesn't want to know anything about criticism. The operation is planned for 2017, and the main donor is already ready.
New body is the last chance
The patient who wants to donate his head is 30-year-old computer expert Valeri Spiridonov from Russia.
The Russian has a rare hereditary disease, spinal muscular atrophy. As a result, the body does not become paralyzed in the traditional sense of the word, but the muscles become so weak that walking or standing is not in it.
The worst thing, however, is that the respiratory muscles also become weakened, so the patient eventually suffocates.
Spiridonov has been put to death, and therefore he has made the drastic decision to say goodbye to his defective body.
The latest techniques and materials are used
To spare the nerves, the surgeons want to cut the nerve bundle in the spinal cord with an ultra-thin scalpel.
In addition, they use a special glue to reconnect the nerves, so that the head and the new body work well together.
Read more about the complex operation in episode 12/2015 of Science in Focus: