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Three volunteers have been recruited for possible human head transplant

By Liang Jun (People's Daily Online)    15:32, September 15, 2015

An Italian neurosurgeon has unveiled plans to perform the world's first human head transplant by the end of 2017. Dr Sergio Canavero announced he will cooperate with a medical team led by Ren Xiaoping, a professor with the Harbin Medical University and the operation will take place at the affiliated hospital of the university, the China National Radio reported on Monday.

Professor Ren accepted the interview of the Voice of China, a channel of CNR, on Monday.

The following is the excerpt of the interview.

Ren Xiaoping: We just talked about some cooperation and long-term development in the future and did not mention how, where, and when to perform the transplant. But if we get effective support and the preclinical study develops in the expected direction, we do not rule out the possibility that the condition will be mature after two years, nor do we rule out the possibility of performing the transplant.

Reporter: According to media reports on the operation order, the first step is to freeze the patient, is it right? And was this decided by you and the Italian expert?

Ren Xiaoping: The order is correct. But we don't know if the plan can withstand test and we need to improve and verify it in the future experiments. If the plan does not work, we will take the alternatives. We have several plans. 

Reporter: Do you need to recruit some experts good at transplant to your team? What kind of people will make up the team? And what kind of equipment does the team need?

Ren Xiaoping: We are negotiating with Harbin Institute of Technology on the equipment and instrument. The team members include experts from more than 10 universities from home and abroad. I just initiated the program and set up a platform for researchers.

Reporter: The news also aroused concern from medical sector, for example, among experts studying ethics. They believe the program has touched the bottom line of medical ethics. What is the bottom line in your opinion?

Ren Xiaoping: I believe ethics is the norms of behavior, behavior appears first and then norms. So does the medical history. 

Reporter: People admire the Russian national who is willing to become the first volunteer. Is it possible to find the second and the third volunteers? 

Ren Xiaoping: Yes, I have three volunteers now.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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