A Doctor Wants To Perform A Treatment Only Heard Of On A Horror Story. Is It Ethical To Do? He Doesn’t Care.
This is one of those stories that I admit, I had to read and reread a couple of times. Yes, there’s the scientific parts that are hard for a regular, non-medical person, such as me to understand.
But the story also raises so many ethical and moral questions. And the question, just because we can, should we?
Dr. Sergio Carvero believes he can accomplish a head transplant. But it has only been tried on a tiny amount of animals and has not been proven to work successfully. Yet Dr. Carvero wants to do the procedure on a human before the end of this year, so soon after that.
Valery Spiridonov, 33, suffers a rare form of paralysis and muscle-wasting disease that will eventually kill him. He volunteered for the procedure.
America and Europe have declined to have the procedure performed until further testings are done on animals. Doctors and scientists from both nations believe it is not yet a viable option.
But China has agreed to have the first surgery performed in their country. China continues to want to be a global power in all areas of life.
The idea of a head transplant first occurred in the imagination of Mary Shelley in 1831. Thus was born the fictional Frankenstein. But over 100 years later, there is still no evidence this procedure would work.
And there are so many questions not answered in this article. Do they switch out the brains as well? If not, then wouldn’t the person receiving the head transplant not become the person whose head was put on his or hers?
Of course, some will say they never believed it would be possible to transplant hearts, livers, kidneys, hands or faces. And it’s true, this has been a huge scientific breakthrough that has saved thousands of lives.
But I still believe much more research needs to be done before a human becomes the ginny pig. What’s the hurry? To have the notoriety of being the first? At what cost to human lives?
Just because we can, should we?