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AuthorTopic: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby  (Read 1277 times)

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Offline asian1

Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« on: February 23, 2005, 01:28:55 PM »
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6998205/

Hi
Recently a parasitic head was removed succesfully from a two headed baby.
The parasitic head can blink and smile.

This is the 9th recorded case in the world.

If in the future, the head transplant research had advanced, is it possible to transplat the head to a donor body from cadaver donor / dead baby?
Can the parasitic head survive with the new body?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1263758.stm

If the parasitic head have a working brain, is the separation operation a murder?
 

  • Guest
Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2005, 05:24:36 PM »
Quote
If the parasitic head have a working brain, is the separation operation a murder?


I suppose it depends if the brain is conscious/aware of it's surroundings or not.
 

Offline that_punk_guy

Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2005, 06:05:31 PM »
"The head that was removed from Manar had been capable of smiling and blinking but not independent life, doctors said."

Hmmm. :/

In that Reuters pic the second head hardly looks responsive. In this case certainly it would appear that the chance for a normal life for the healthy twin is the overriding factor. She looks quite perky.

There's a little more here:

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7685943

Any ideas about this blinking/smiling thing? Could that by caused by electrical stimuli from the healthy twin?
 

Offline redrumloa

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Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2005, 06:18:34 PM »
Jeeez, does that raise alot of ehical questions.. A 'parisite head' that responds with blinking and smiling? Was it an actual second human with it's own thinking? Should we be killing it(him/her) is it was a consious human being :-?
Someone has to state the obvious and that someone is me!
 

Offline Karlos

Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2005, 07:30:32 PM »
Quote

redrumloa wrote:
Jeeez, does that raise alot of ehical questions.. A 'parisite head' that responds with blinking and smiling? Was it an actual second human with it's own thinking? Should we be killing it(him/her) is it was a consious human being :-?


This isn't precident setting. A lot of conjoined twins are seperated that severely reduces the chance of survival for one of them in favour of the other, especially where vital organs are concerned.

My personal feelings about it aside, logically the undeveloped twin here would have died if s/he had gestated independently without developing a funtioning body. The question then arises, does this twin pose a danger to the the fully developed sibling (thus risking both their lives) and irrespective of this, does the full twin have the right to live independantly of her conjoined sibling and the complications caused?
int p; // A
 

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Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2005, 08:14:10 PM »
I guess my biggest question is:

Is the world getting better at documenting these things, or are they getting more and more common as the world becomes more and more polluted? (tree hugger comment, I know)

Wayne
 

Offline seer

Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2005, 09:38:48 PM »
A 'parisite head' that responds with blinking and smiling?

I have a "problem" with the term "parasite" in cases like this. I don't know, it's just worded wrong...

Note; not directed at you Red, as it seems to be normal to call a person/baby that's not able to support it's own live a parasite even if it's as  unusual as this..
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Offline that_punk_guy

Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2005, 09:40:15 PM »
Parasite has negative connotations but it is technically correct.
 

Offline seer

Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2005, 09:46:38 PM »
Is the world getting better at documenting these things, or are they getting more and more common as the world becomes more and more polluted?

How do you mean polluted ? environment ?

I think it's more the % change something goes wrong. There are so many humans being on this planet, it's "normal" that these things start to happen "more" often then when there were less people.

Look at flies (those little pesky ones, we dutchylanders call them fruitflies), there are a lot of those and a lot of "mutants" as well..

It also getting better documented I guess. Many reasons there; law requiring that doctors report this, news sensation selling, cloning still a bit of a hot topic.. (semi related to asian1 post, instead of a donor, grow a clone)
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Offline Karlos

Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2005, 09:55:07 PM »
Quote

Wayne wrote:
I guess my biggest question is:

Is the world getting better at documenting these things, or are they getting more and more common as the world becomes more and more polluted? (tree hugger comment, I know)

Wayne


Certianly true for many species of frog. In the tadpole phase, they are very susceptible to mutagens and in places the proportion of abnormal frogs (additional limbs etc) has exploded where traces of certian pesticides (cant recall which) are used.
int p; // A
 

Offline Quixote

Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2005, 02:09:38 PM »
[img align=left]http://www.amiga.org/images/subject/icon9.gif[/img] This reminds me of the news piece done on televison a few year ago about Ashley and Brittany, if I recall their names correctly.  They are a pair of cojoined twins so thoroughly joined that they reminded me of Douglas Adams' fictional Zaphod Beeblebrox, who had had an extra head grafted on.

Ashley and Brittany were both very bright and alert, each a seperate functioning mind.  They mentioned that most people incorrectly thought of them as "a girl with two heads," while they described themselves as "two girls with one body."

The quick-fix decision to remove the offending "extra" head is unsettling.
 

Offline Floid

Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2005, 11:35:21 AM »
Quote

seer wrote:
A 'parisite head' that responds with blinking and smiling?

I have a "problem" with the term "parasite" in cases like this. I don't know, it's just worded wrong...

Note; not directed at you Red, as it seems to be normal to call a person/baby that's not able to support it's own live a parasite even if it's as  unusual as this..


In fairness, the term is, as noted in the articles, supposed to apply in cases where it's pretty obvious you don't have a functioning organism whatsoever there -- more like a tumor with (eeeegh) arms or ears or a tangled mass of malformed brain-goop involved.

But meat is messy, and there's a continuum involved.  Again usually, if it happens to have a face but the doctors are calling it a 'parasite,' it's because they've determined there's not really much or any real brain behind it; looks can be deceiving.  I haven't dug up the pictures for this one, it's Egypt, I'd wonder if they might be taking some semantic leeway in a truly borderline situation, but even that's a messy fact of life.

These cases are getting attention lately because (for real conjoinments, anyway) it's horribly expensive surgery with fair risk, and attracting press helps defray the costs of perfecting what is, y'know, a pretty rare procedure that happens to have a huge impact on a few individuals' (the ones stuck together!) quality of life.  More people, more people surviving to breed (and after it), stonkingly better prenatal care, and maybe some extra mutagens here and there (though things like fertility drugs would probably be much more directly involved), and you're probably doomed to see more statistically, but it's still downright rare... The big difference is that, if it happens halfway around the planet, the people are far more likely to find a doctor, and you're far more likely to hear about it.  Teh Intarnetweb thing has an infinite number of column inches compared to the daily paper.

If any of you dig these ethical headaches, check out Kenzaburo Oe's A Personal Matter -- interesting for any number of reasons, especially when you find out what inspired it.
 

Offline bloodline

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Re: Head Transplant & 2 Headed Baby
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2005, 11:44:17 AM »
Quote

that_punk_guy wrote:
Parasite has negative connotations but it is technically correct.


Yes, the technical term is correct. A developing baby inside its mother is also a parasite.

Quote
Any ideas about this blinking/smiling thing? Could that by caused by electrical stimuli from the healthy twin?


If the second head is fully functioning, then you should think of it in the same way as a terminally ill person kept alive by a life support machine... in this case the life support is provided by a human being.

Personally I think that conciousness develops quite late on in a babies development out side of the womb, ie your first memories... so the question of wether it is concious of not is a mute point... the question is wether it is capable of conciousness, in which case I would say that it probably is, though it will have little ability to communicate.