A head transplant
, perhaps more accurately described as a body transplant
, is a surgical operation
involving the replacement of an organism's entire body below the neck with a replacement body. No such transplants have been performed on humans (as of March 2003
), but there have been many successful head transplants performed on monkeys by Dr. Robert White of Case Western University, who in 1984
announced that he felt his techniques were suitably developed to work on humans.
Since the technology required to reattach a severed spinal cord has not yet been developed, the subject of a head transplant would be a quadruplegic. This technique has been proposed as possibly useful for people who are already quadruplegics, and who are suffering from widespread organ failures which would otherwise require many different and difficult transplant surgeries.
See also: organ transplant, whole-body transplant