While skimming over my WordPress wall to see all of the new content posted by my fellow peers I came across a particular post that piqued my curiosity. In this post, he talks about how a chicken can survive without its head, expanding upon it to question if something can live without its brain. I couldn’t help but be reminded of this article I read a few months back on what might become the world’s first human head transplant!
There was an experiment conducted back in communist Soviet Union where a dog’s disembodied head was kept alive for hours just by hooking it up to a life support mechanism. The dog could respond to stimuli and it even made noises and drank water. Around this time period in the United States, Dr. Robert J. White successfully conducted the first head transplant in a human-like primate, the chimpanzee. The chimp was able to blink, breathe, and move its head around. However, the body was unresponsive.
Though these experiments were extremely controversial, they have received nowhere near the amount of coverage the new human transplant story has. From what I can see, the internet is wholly divided regarding whether or not the man should undergo the procedure or not. Those against it cited the case where the transplanted chimpanzee went insane after a few hours due to it not being able to do anything. Others argue that he could possibly die. On the other hand, those in favor say that it would greatly expand our understanding of medicine and the way our bodies work. In addition, if successful it could really help the man, who’s become paralyzed from a debilitation disease.
This raises the question, if you were in his situation, where you were paralyzed and you had the opportunity to take a risk that could either ‘save’ your life or end it, would you be willing to take that leap? This is a question I can never truly answer to heart as I have no idea what it would feel like. However, for this man, there is only one option. Proceed.