Getting aHead: ethical issues facing human head transplants
|Gummy bear head transplant, courtesy of flickr user Ella Phillips
|Will head transplants waste potential organ donations?
|Head transplants: 1960’s science fiction come to life
Dr. Canavero understands that the idea of head transplantation is on the cutting edge (so to speak) and that it will likely make many people uncomfortable. Perhaps this is why he has launched a personal PR campaign including a TEDx talk. Yet he does not seem to fully appreciate the ethical implications of his proposed procedure. He told The Guardian that in science, “what can be done, will be done” and, matter-of-factly that “Cloning will come into play,” presumably to get around those nasty whole-body tissue rejection issues. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Dr. Canavero has lost the support of his colleagues in Italy (where the surgery is now illegal) and will be moving to Harbin, China seeking a less constraining regulatory climate. Indeed, he claims in the same article that the choice to participate in the surgery should be up to the patient. The surgery will be expensive but Canavero claims there is great enthusiasm and fundraising potential from the ultra-rich, presumably stoked by his talk of life-extension.
Want to cite this post?
Purcell, Ryan (2015). Getting aHead: ethical issues facing human head transplants. The Neuroethics Blog. Retrieved on , from http://www.theneuroethicsblog.com/2015/12/getting-ahead-ethical-issues-facing.html