Valerous Valery volunteers for an Head Transplant; ready for a ‘Ganesha’!
Russian geek and entrepreneur Valery Spiridonov has volunteered for a very novel procedure. For being the ‘recipient’ of the first head transplant surgery when it happens. Valery is suffering from Werdnig-Hoffmann disease due to which his muscles and neurons degenerate. The disease is supposed to be fatal. Doctors believe the transplant could happen anytime. Two medical personnel are volunteering to participate in the procedure which may need 80 surgeons and may cost millions.
The modern day head transplant reminds us of the very popular Hindu God, Ganesha. Ganesha must have been the first recorded being to have received a head transplant. As we remember Ganesha with due reverence, we also notice another coincidence. This write-up coincides with the occasion of the very important Ganesh Chathurthi festival tomorrow. The difference between Valery and Vinayak (another name of Ganesha) is that the former’s head will be attached to a donated body. In the latter’s case, an elephant’s head was fit (Ganesha’s head had been decapitated in a battle) onto his body. One cannot but applaud the can-do spirit of this young man, Valery, fighting this strange and horrifying disease.
Valorous Valery is currently leading a life where he has somehow managed to reconcile with his challenges. While offering himself for the experiment (his head will be fitted on the body of a brain dead person), he is taking chances with a procedure which is still nascent even in the laboratory. The NewsTikka team believes that any new development that is beneficial to man should be encouraged. Unless there is a possibility of harming Nature or mankind in the long run. At the same time, it would be prudent to check the potential ethical or legal issues that may arise. Talking of these issues, one is reminded of The Vikram and Vetaal Story and the poser post that.
King Vikramaditya in ancient India had to answer questions that the Vetaal (vampire) would pose. Questions based on stories the Vetaal would narrate. One of the stories is about a woman who finds her brother and betrothed both dead. Their bodies are near one another and decapitated. With some divine intervention, she manages to fix the heads on the bodies. But in the hurry and excitement about the opportunity to resuscitate the two men in her life, she interchanges the heads. The Vetal then poses this question to King Vikramaditya. ‘Considering that their heads have interchanged, which of these two men should the Lady marry and why?’
Likewise, answers for potential ethical and legal questions need to be found and validated before the body of person X becomes the body of person Y. This will avoid later complications.
Do our Readers think Ancient Cultures knowingly or otherwise, envisaged situations and problems that could besiege Humanity?