THE INDEPENDENT: Head transplant surgeon attacked by medical community after suggesting 'unethical and dangerous' operation is imminent

Press/Media: Expert comment

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“Unless Canavero or Ren provide real evidence that they can perform a head, or more appropriately, a whole body transplant on a large animal that recovers sufficient function to improve quality of life, this entire project is morally wrong,” said James Fildes, NHS Principal Research Scientist at the Transplant Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester, and Principal Investigator at the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Manchester.“Perhaps far more worryingly, this endeavour appears to revolve around immortality, but in each case a body is needed for the transplant, and therefore a human needs to die as part of the process. Where does Canavero propose to get the donor body from if the goal is to tackle the laws of nature?  And finally, if body transplantation becomes a reality, has Canavero considered how he will tackle acute rejection of the constituent parts of the head?  What will rejection of the skin, muscles, eyes, and brain manifest as? I hope this is not just egotistical pseudoscience.”

Period17 Nov 2017

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleHead transplant surgeon attacked by medical community after suggesting 'unethical and dangerous' operation is imminent
    Media name/outletThe Independent
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Date17/11/17
    Description“Unless Canavero or Ren provide real evidence that they can perform a head, or more appropriately, a whole body transplant on a large animal that recovers sufficient function to improve quality of life, this entire project is morally wrong,” said James Fildes, NHS Principal Research Scientist at the Transplant Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester, and Principal Investigator at the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Manchester.“Perhaps far more worryingly, this endeavour appears to revolve around immortality, but in each case a body is needed for the transplant, and therefore a human needs to die as part of the process. Where does Canavero propose to get the donor body from if the goal is to tackle the laws of nature? And finally, if body transplantation becomes a reality, has Canavero considered how he will tackle acute rejection of the constituent parts of the head? What will rejection of the skin, muscles, eyes, and brain manifest as? I hope this is not just egotistical pseudoscience.”
    URLwww.independent.co.uk/news/science/head-transplant-surgery-sergio-canavero-body-medical-reaction-criticism-real-a8061011.html
    PersonsJames Fildes

Keywords

  • transplants
  • surgery