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Head transplantation surgery currently impossible — leading Russian surgeon

June 05, 2015, 15:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Academician Anzor Khubutia, director of the Moscow-based Sklifosovsky emergency hospital, said Sergio Canavero's plans to perform history's first human head transplant were absolutely "reckless"
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Anzor Khubutia, director of the Moscow-based Sklifosovsky emergency hospital

Anzor Khubutia, director of the Moscow-based Sklifosovsky emergency hospital

© ITAR-TASS/Alexandra Mudrats

MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Head transplantation planned by an Italian neurosurgeon will be impossible until medical science solves the problem of spine regeneration, a leading Russian surgeon told TASS on Friday.

Academician Anzor Khubutia, director of the Moscow-based Sklifosovsky emergency hospital, said Sergio Canavero's plans to perform history's first human head transplant were absolutely "reckless".

"It may be real in the future," Khubutia said. "But it's hard to talk about head transplantation before spine regeneration becomes possible."

"I would be happy to live to the moment when head transplant becomes real," he said, adding that routine surgery such as liver or heart transplantation could have been hardly imaginable years ago.

Canavero announced plans in April to perform history's first head transplantation. Russian programmer Valery Spiridonov, who volunteered for the risky operation, suffers from genetic muscular atrophy and is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The idea of transplanting a donor’s head onto a body was first described by Russian science fiction writer Alexander Belyaev in his 1925 novel "Professor Dowell's Head.".

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