The fact remains that a head transplant is a bit outrageous for the needs of most patients when there are plenty of other ways to approach a method for dealing with degenerative muscle diseases. In addition, Canavero might be driven to perform a head transplant for all the wrong reasons. It is arguable to say that the Italian isn’t motivated around true medical needs, but rather the desire to become famous for his scientific breakthrough (Would a Human Head Transplant Be Ethical?). Instead of publishing papers for his scientific peers to review, Canavero tends to flout his “success” to the press; the Italian is all talk, but no walk. The principle of nonmaleficence may be the most applicable principle of medical ethics to the idea of human head transplantation: “Primum non nocere: first, do no harm” (Cuoco and Davy, 2016). In other words, medical experts mustn’t do any harm and inflict the least possible danger on a patient or whatever is being tested on to reach a beneficial outcome. That being said, human head transplantation should be the last resort for SMA or ALS patients. The thought of subjecting a patient, regardless of their consent, to quite possibly the most complex surgery yet to be performed in a room full of surgeons that don’t even know all of the possible variables and factors involved provokes more than just an uneasy feeling. Not only is it unfair to the patient, but its consequences also raise questions in the context of utilitarianism (Cuoco and Davy, 2017). Is this operation one for the greater good? While there are hundreds of thousands of individuals on the waiting list for organ transplants, one can argue whether or not an entire cadaveric donation to save one life is more beneficial than a donor providing their organs to multiple recipients of different needs. Transplantation ethics encourages consideration of the most good being done with the limited amount of tissue donation.In terms of psychological consequences, a human head transplantation also presupposes a consciousness, personality, and memory transplantation. Cognitive sciences have proven that human cognition does not rely solely on brain parenchyma; rather, the human body plays a role in the formation of self as well. Thus, undergoing a head transplant would bring about difficulties for the recipient to adjust to the new body. Their personality and memories may be severely altered if not completely wiped out, and the patient will most likely be put at risk for serious complications including mood disorders, suicidal tendencies, or psychosis (Cuoco and Davy, 2017). These consequences represent yet another unknown variable in the transplant, because they cannot be tested on prior to the actual procedure. Assuming the surgery went well and the patient survived, it is fair to believe that the recipient will go in as themselves and come out a whole new person. That being said, new concerns give way to the notion of personhood and the identity and rights of the patient.Is this a person that the body belongs to? Or is this a person the head belongs to? One can consider the end result a hybrid person (Would a Human Head Transplant Be Ethical?), but most might see it as a person the head belongs to. Moreover, it would be easier to recognize a friend’s face with a different body than to recognize a friend’s body with a different face. The issues surrounding personhood give rise to similar issues surrounding reproductive implications. When given the opportunity to reproduce, does the newborn belong to the body (the deceased donor) or the head (recipient)? Essentially, the recipient will never be able to truly reproduce; instead, the donor body will reproduce upon the recipient’s will to do so (Cuoco and Davy, 2017). Even then, if reproduction was successful and the newborn grew to be a young adult, how would one go about explaining who they really belong to? Furthermore, supposing “reproduction” is deemed ethical, an additional factor to consider is the age gap between the donor and recipient. For example, if a thirty-year-old man receives organs from a ninety-year-old man, the recipient will likely become infertile due to the transplantation procedure and human interruption of the natural life cycle. Likewise, the opposite may hold true if an elderly man receives the organs of a middle-aged one. A final thought to consider, presuming head transplantation becomes a common practice of surgery, may be the implication of opposite-sex human head transplantation (Cuoco and Davy, 2017). With gender equality already a huge protocol in today’s society, human head transplantation between two people of opposite genders is bound to be the next big advancement. The very words “opposite-sex human head transplantation” in the same sentence sound absurd enough; discussion of such a procedure is a scientific breakthrough on a whole different level including a variety of ethical questions and social concerns.Human head transplantation has potential to be a novel treatment in the near future for individuals suffering from any type of degenerative muscle disease. Nevertheless, a scientific breakthrough this evolutionary involves numerous ethical concerns that should first be considered before carrying out the procedure on any human being. Until Canavero releases scientific evidence to prove the validity of his experiment, medical experts and the public society await further news of any updates about a head transplant taking place. While some approach the idea with an open mind and recognize that this might be the only way to probe the cutting edge of science and technology to determine what works, what doesn’t and why, most others have little faith in the success of Canavero’s ideas. Many experts are deeply skeptical and critical of Canavero’s methods, but the Italian surgeon is persistent in his belief that he can and will successfully carry out this procedure, essentially giving life to the deceased. There are still more feasible surgeries and therapies in the works that even if a head transplant had any potential to save or improve lives, it is highly unlikely that it would ever become a go-to treatment.

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