Re: NEURO: Head Transplants"
Sun, 29 Aug 1999 23:15:31 -0700

> Where are they getting the bodies?
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

I guess that the bodies would come from accident victims who had died due to head injuries. Ideally the brain would flatline and they'd pull the plug even though the body was still going strong. The dying person would have to be set up as an organ donor in the usual way, presumably.

Of course it's wasteful to use a whole body when all you want to do is to keep the head alive. You've got a lot of meat sitting there that's not doing anybody any good. Plus donating the whole body means you can't donate hearts and kidneys and whatever organs are transplantable these days. So from the donor's perspective it is pretty questionable.

I recall about ten years ago someone was going to try to patent the idea of hooking a head up to a fancy heart/lung/kidney machine to keep it running, with the stated intention of preventing such an immoral application of technology by sitting on the patent. If such a device were possible it would be a superior solution to using donor bodies, and maybe the patent holder would agree that it was less immoral.