The controversial surgical procedure is set to be attempted on a human patient in December 2017.
The key figure behind the experiment is Italian neurosurgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero who maintains that swapping the head of a donor with that of a living patient is now technically feasible.
The recipient of the new body will be 30-year-old Valery Spiridonov who suffers from a genetic muscle-wasting condition called Werdnig-Hoffmann disease.
“When I realized that I could participate in something really big and important, I had no doubt left in my mind and started to work in this direction,” he said. “The only thing I feel is the sense of pleasant impatience, like I have been preparing for something important all my life.”
Plans to attempt the procedure however have been met with fierce criticism from the medical community given the extremely high likelihood that it will either kill Spiridonov or render him completely unable to move at all.
“According to Canavero’s calculations, if everything goes to plan, two years is the time frame needed to verify all scientific calculations and plan the procedure’s details,” he said. “It isn’t a race. No doubt, the surgery will be done once the doctor and the experts are 99 percent sure of its success.”