The next decade could witness the achievement of the first ever human head transplants, a former NHS neurosurgeo has claimed.
Bruce Mathew, a former clinical lead for neurosurgery at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, believes he knows how the feat of moving a person’s consciousness to another body could be made to work.
It was gathered that Matthew was working on a science fiction novel with Institute of Futurology founder Michael Lee when he realised the scientific feat could be achieved in the next decade.
However, proponents say controversial procedure could pave way to immortality.
He believes that surgeons would not only have to transplant a person’s head, but place their entire spinal cord into another body.
The 63-year-old from Hull asserts that advancements in nerve surgery, robotics and stem cell transplants mean that it could be possible to reattach an entire spinal cord – and its corresponding head – to another body before 2030.
His words, “The thought of keeping [the spinal cord] in one piece has always been totally daunting, but now with modern technology you can do most things.
“At the moment, you can connect one or two nerves, but with robotics and artificial intelligence we’ll soon be able to do 200 nerves.
You would take off all the spinal column, so that you could drop in the whole brain and spinal cord and lumbar sacra into a new body.
“Obviously it’s very difficult to take out the dura (the protective membrane of the spinal cord) intact without making a hole in it. It will take a number of advancements and incremental steps but it will probably will happen in the next 10 years.”
While the method would be of no help to those with spinal injuries, it could help those with degenerative muscle diseases, and Mr Mathew suggests it could allow people to be given robotic bodies.
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