Wednesday 21 February 2018

Surgeon planning world’s first 'Frankenstein-like' head transplant tells Piers Morgan he will practice on human corpses

Dr Sergio Canavero, speaking on Good Morning Britain, plans to conduct head transplant on Valery Spiridonov (right). Photo: ITV
Dr Sergio Canavero, speaking on Good Morning Britain, plans to conduct head transplant on Valery Spiridonov (right). Photo: ITV
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A CONTROVERSIAL doctor insists he will out the first human head transplant next year despite the planned surgery being widely condemned.

Dr Sergio Canavero is due to carry out the head transplant on Russian Valery Spiridonov - and has outlined plans to conduct experiments to reanimate human corpses to test his technique.

The controversial neurosurgeon has been dubbed “Dr Frankenstein” after revealing his plans to carry out the first human head transplant in December 2017 

Russian Valery Spiridonov, who is terminally ill, will become the first human to undergo the operation.

During the process, the head will be frozen to preserve the brain cells.

The aim of the surgery is to first cut the spinal cord and then repair it before using electrical or magnetic stimulation to 'reanimate' the nerves.

Valery currently has a muscle-wasting disease that’s slowly killing him.

Speaking today on Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, Mr Spiridonov said his girlfriend doesn’t want him to go through with the operation.

"She supports me in all that I do, but she doesn't think that I need to change, she accepts me the way I am. She doesn't think that I need the surgery," he said.

"My motivation personally is about improving my own life conditions and to go to the stage where I will be able to take care of myself, where I will be independent from other people.

"I need people to help me everyday, even twice a day because I need someone to take me off my bed and put me in my wheelchair, so it makes my life pretty dependable on other people and if there will be a way to change this I believe it should be tried," he said.

The ITV studio then crossed to Dr Canavero to get his take on the upcoming operation.

Piers Morgan suggested his work was like that of Dr Frankenstein: “There are many sceptics in the medical world who agree with that verdict. They don’t think it’s possible.”

The ‘Frankenstein doctor’ hit back, explaining: “Look, sorry, these doctors don’t know what they’re taking about.”

Earlier this year, Dr Canavero claimed scientists in China had performed a head transplant on a monkey where they connected up the blood supply between the head and the new body.

The surgery would take a staggering 36 hours to complete and is expected to cost over €10m, he added.

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