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Thoughts on Head Transplants

Posted November 12th, 2015 at 12:42 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
Head transplants have been in the news lately. There have been face transplants and all sorts of organ transplants, so why not heads?

Itís kind of a creepy thought- having your head cut off and your brain kept alive while it gets hooked up to another body. I guess a few things have to happen- they have to find a way to keep the brain alive and also the new body before they stitch them together. It seems to me that frigid temperatures would help. Cell death is greatly lessened when the base body temperature is lower.

Have you ever read about those people who fell in icy ponds and were pulled out thirty minutes later and revived with no ill effects? (except wet underwear) Thatís the kind of idea Iím thinking of.

It makes sense to keep the brain- it has the accumulated knowledge and experience of a life time. But should the head itself be kept? Couldnít they just do a brain transplant? I guess the head is a handy case for the brain and since itís already all hooked up it would be better to keep.

There are an awful lot of nerves and blood vessels and systems in the body. The neck is the logical severing place, not only because itís small but because itís a choke point- all those systems pass through the skinny little neck- so theoretically it would be the ideal place to rehook them up.

Where does the new body come from? There arenít very many full body donors, and most of the things that kill people damage their bodies. This alone seems to be the biggest problem. If a body died of a heart attack, and you repair the heart why not just repair the heart before the person dies? I suppose ISIS in Syria could export headless bodies, since they seem to make quite a few of them.

Now Iím thinking of Stephen Hawking. If his head was cut off his body, wouldnít his ALS come along for the ride and affect his new body? Itís nice to think that all people are equal but would a head transplant into a person of a different race, culture or gender be appropriate? What are the chances of me getting the body of a hot young woman with my old man head?

I know this is a strange thing to talk about and no Iím not planning on secretly attempting it in the garage, and by the way, would you like to come to dinner?

They say the human body is very similar to cats and pigs. If no host body was available would it be okay if we put human heads onto pigs? It would keep them alive and we have the pharmaceutical power to make it work. We could keep all of our heads of state alive forever by grafting them onto pig bodies. Iíd probably pay money to see past US presidentsí heads on pig bodies.

Iíd hate to think of the illegal market that would develop for bodies. Gangs would abduct people in third world nations- and here too- and super villains would survive forever. But I guess gangs already nab people for kidneys and things.

Now from what I understand the body grows older and dies due to its own programming- we are born with a built in death timer. Our brain stops maintaining the body and it fades on purpose, perhaps to make room for more, new people and also to get rid of awful people who are around way too long. So if an old head was welded onto a nice young body would the old brain quickly age the young body?

And what about the degeneration that takes place in the head itself with age? It seems to me that we need to stop this before we can do head transplants, for what is the use in grafting a forgetful old head on to a young body when the mind no longer remembers what pyjamas are for? And if we stop the aging process wouldnít that put an end to most potential cases for head transplants?

Would it be okay to graft a head onto a body that already had a head? What if my wife was dying, could I have her head stuck on my body beside my own? What about three heads, or four? Hydra humans?

How much of personality is in the body? Fred is shy and as a result he has thought a lot and became quite smart. His smart head is grafted onto a nice young body and he becomes a minority celebrity and not shy at all- would he still be smart? Or would Fred became vain and Kardashian?

I have so many questions about head transplants and there are no real answers without a viable experimental transplant specimen. Maybe youíd like to talk more about this over dinner and a few drinks? We could exchange ideas and theories. Donít tell anyone youíre coming.
Total Comments 1


Tornado's Avatar
Great read.
There are some horribly funny old B movies on the subject and head and brain transplants, along with all body parts, are common in Judge Dredd comics.
It does lead to black market body parts because greed trumps all.
I find the notion of an old brain aging a young body to be fascinating. Along with the question of ALS transferring.
Honestly if they perfect head transplants it may be easier to create robotic bodies for old heads.
Or just keep them in a jar like Futurama.
Posted November 17th, 2015 at 09:02 AM by Tornado Tornado is offline
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