Valery Spiridinov, a 30-year-old Russian man with the severely debilitating Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, intends to undergo the world's first human head transplant. The doctor who plans to perform the surgery – which would take place in 2017 – is Dr. Sergio Canavero, a confident neurosurgeon from Italy who claims the procedure can be done in one day and will have a 90 percent chance of success. Other doctors are highly skeptical, both of its possible success as well as the ethics of such a procedure.
The surgery, which was unsuccessfully performed on monkeys in the 1970s, is divided into three stages, as explained in the Telegraph. In the first stage the body must be chilled to 10-20 degrees. The second stage involves cutting the spinal cord. And in the third stage the nerves and blood vessels must all be woven back together before putting the patient into a coma for a few weeks. The biggest concern doctors have is whether or not Spiridinov's brain will still function after the surgery, but for Spiridinov, who is bound to a wheel chair with very little control over his body, it's a risk worth taking.