Wednesday, 26 February 2020 | 15:53 WIB

Researchers Claim to Be Ready to Conduct FIrst Ever Head Transplant

Researchers Claim to Be Ready to Conduct FIrst Ever Head Transplant (netz)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Researchers Sergio Canavero and Xiaoping Ren have published two new studies in which they claimed to have cured irreparable spinal cord injuries in monkeys and dogs.

According to the paper, which was published in a peer-reviewed US journal Surgical Neurology International, the animals were able to walk again after their spinal cord was cut off and then successfully repaired.

Describing their findings as "unprecedented", Canavero and Ren said this showed they were ready to carry out trials on humans, as reported by Daily Mail.

Their latest animal studies were conducted in China, at Harbin Medical University. Until 2018, they had a candidate for head transplant named Valery Spiridonov, a 33-year-old Russian computer science student, who suffered a fatal muscle disease.

There was also an experience of the medical community from China in November, when geneticist Dr He Jiankui revealed that he had genetically edited twin girls to do a similar transplant. There is widespread global agreement that technology and its implications are too risky to be used in humans.

Reports later claimed that the Chinese government funded Dr He's work. This action then sparked more anger and concern among Western biomedical ethics experts.

Canavero then accused his colleagues in Europe and the US of patronizing China. Biomedical ethics shows that there are 'a number of problems' with their efforts. One is related: they may need to get patient consent to be killed, such as euthanasia - even though it is illegal in China.

But researchers worry that the law will not deter. There is strong evidence that Chinese prisoners have been forced to donate organs.

"Although this is a serious problem, the real problem is with international regulations: there are no laws and policies designed to protect patients and research subjects human beings have been able to stop them, Canavero and Ren, they also will not," said bioethics expert Michael S Dauber in the British Medical Journal.