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Is a human head transplant possible in the future?

 I would say that a skull transplant is possible in the upcoming future (since we can now do face and arm transplants), but not a full head transplant including the skull and brain. The brain is too delicate and complex to attach to a new spinal cord, and it would be a huge ethical concern as well. If that new brain had somehow been able to grow axons down the spinal cord and function properly, then you have essentially placed one person's consciousness into a completely different body, and the original consciousness controlling that body is now gone. You would now have a new person with a different personality, memories, experiences and skills. That surgery transplant would be the biggest ethical screw-up in the history of medicine and science.

We are able to do partial skull transplants such as with a 3D printer, but we have not done a full skull transplant yet. I imagine that is possible in the future, with a trauma patient's face, scalp and brain preserved in a fluid filled container or something. The problem I would see emerging is how to transplant a full skull while maintaining proper brain and brainstem positioning, especially when the cerebrospinal fluid is gone. And how would you replace that crucial cerebrospinal fluid after the transplant?



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