Cooler Heads

Body Transplants & Ethical Warnings

Earlier this year, Dr. Sergio Canavero announced that he would attempt a head transplant within two years. His confident claims aside, the first problem with his statement is a semantic inversion. The "organ" that a donor would provide is not his head, but his body. The goal is to extend the life of a person with degenerative muscular or nerve disease or metastasized cancer by attaching his healthy head onto a healthy donor body. Thus, we are actually talking about body transplantation.

The first head/body transplants were attempted on dogs in 1954, and on a monkey in 1970. None lived more than nine days.1 A human head/body transplant...

 

is the Executive Director of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity in Deerfield, Illinois.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #33, Summer 2015 Copyright © 2020 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo33/cooler-heads

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