Doctor plans first human head transplant

Doctor plans first human head transplant

Dr. Sergio Canavero said the transplant of a healthy body to a human head would take place in China because the U.S. and Europe would not allow it. (AP/Scott Heppell) Dr. Sergio Canavero said the transplant of a healthy body to a human head would take place in China because the U.S. and Europe would not allow it. (AP/Scott Heppell)

(RNN) - An Italian surgeon said he would be scheduling the first transplant of a healthy human head onto another body "within days."

Dr. Sergio Canavero said the procedure would take place in China because the U.S. and Europe would not allow it.

"Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to restore China to greatness," said Canavero, per USA Today. "He wants to make it the sole superpower in the world. I believe he is doing it."

Technically, the head would be the recipient, as the donor would be the person who is brain dead giving up their healthy body.

Canavero said he was teaming with Dr. Ren Xiaoping of China, and they along with the Chinese government would be announcing a date soon. The identities of donor and recipient have not been released.

The surgery is expected to take 24 hours, with both subjects placed in an upright sitting position. The spinal cords will be severed simultaneously, and the brain will be cooled to a deep state of hypothermia to preserve it, Canavero said.

He expected the transplant to cost up to $100 million and involve several dozen surgeons and specialists.

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