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The Rubicon Already Crossed
Karen S. Rommelfanger & Paul F. Boshears

This issue of AJOB Neuroscience was a tricky one to navigate. The prospect of a near future wherein a head transplant has become a therapeutic procedure available to people suffering from the effects of failing bodies has been surrounded by pageantry, vitriolic responses, and a sense of melodrama that has made a caricature of what discussions of neuroethics can and should be. ...

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Target Article

HEAVEN in the Making: Between the Rock (the Academe) and a Hard Case (a Head Transplant)
Xiaoping Ren & Sergio Canavero

A sound ethical debate in biomedicine calls for (1) equipoise and (2) knowledge. The debate surrounding HEAVEN, the head transplant initiative, has been based on the exact opposite. Here we show that (1) HEAVEN is technically feasible and (2) HEAVEN can help patients with no other course of curative treatment available. At the same time we highlight the true contentious points: (1) life extension,...

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Ahead of Our Time: Why Head Transplantation Is Ethically Unsupportable
Paul Root Wolpe

An ethical approach to evaluating the attachment of a donor head and a donor body11. In actuality, under current parlance, as Ren and Cenavero note, the procedure is a body transplant onto a head, as the body is considered the “donor” material. However, given my objections as described in the following, I use “head/body transplant” in this discussion and consider the two as equivalent.1. I...

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