The controversial #italiandoctor #sergiocanaveroclaims he’s successfully performed a human head transplant, demonstrating that the technique is ready for primetime. At a press conference on Friday morning, the Italian neurosurgeon reported that, in an 18-hour surgery, he transplanted a head onto a corpse in #China, proving that it’s possible to connect blood vessels, nerves, and the spine. Canavero, the director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group has talked a big game for years about his plans to transplant human heads, and he says this latest achievement proves it can be done.
In the Telegraph on Friday, Canavero said that an operation on a living human will happen very soon. “The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done. A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage,” he said. “And that is the final step for the formal head transplant for a medical condition which is imminent.” Sergio Canavero likes to think he's on the margins of the scientific community because he's ahead of his time like Copernicus, but it's more likely that he's not taken seriously because he's a snake oil salesman.
There’s plenty of reason not to believe Canavero, who has been making these outrageous claims for years, much to the chagrin of the global medical and scientific community. This latest announcement builds on his previous claim, in January 2016, that he’d transplanted a monkey head. Then as now, however, he never provided enough proof to convince the scientific community. When Inverse previously reported on Canavero, reporter Ben Guarino called his goal of transplanting a living human head onto the body of a brain-dead person “not fucking likely,” and this latest announcement does little to adjust our assessment.
The 18-hour surgery took half as long as Canavero previously estimated, which he attributes to time-saving techniques of his team of #Chinese colleagues, led by Dr. Xiaoping Ren. Once again, Canavero did not provide evidence of the successful operation, though he did say a paper would be made public in the next few days. More in comments