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Full-Body Transplants Are a Crazy, Wildly Unethical Idea

For the last week, an Italian neurosurgeon has been executing a full-blown media offensive, talking up his plan to stitch one person’s head to another person’s body. If the powers-that-be would just get over their ethical queasiness, Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group says he could accomplish the feat by 2017. But full-body transplants aren’t so crazy. In fact, it might surprise you that there was a successful operation as far back as 1818. Well, successful if you ignore that the transplantee freaked out and murdered his doctor’s family. Oh wait. That was Frankenstein. I take it back, full body transplants are totally crazy. What the hell, going to the moon was crazy too, right? And a maybe-crazy-but-what-the-hell moonshot is exactly how Canavero sees his plan to help patients with severe physical impairments. “Why did the US and the Soviet Union just vie for being the first to space? Because it is about measuring dicks. We want to demonstrate as a country, to say: I am the best,” he says. Canavero’s latest paper glosses over questions of ethics and practicality and tackles the trickiest aspect of the head-swapping procedure: The spinal splice.

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This is just plain crazy!

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