After 18 hours under anesthesia, doctors, nurses, and a team of assistants stood by anxiously waiting for a sign that the two risky operations had been a success.
Cleveland brain surgeon Robert White tapped the monkey’s nose. The monkey, a midsized primate called a macaque, snapped his jaws in an attempt to bite the doctor.
The room cheered. The operations had been successful.
Dr. White successfully performed the world’s first primate head transplant. He attached the conscious, living head of one macaque to the breathing, vital body of another, creating a “new” animal.
“Dangerous, pugnacious and very unhappy,” White said about his patient.
“The monkeys did not like Dr. White, and they really retained that,” Brandy Schillace, author of “Mr. Humble & Dr. Butcher” (Simon & Schuster), said.
The dislike for Dr. White was a common factor in all five of the macabre head transplants White performed. This confirms, for him at least, that the brain is the vessel of personality. It is where the soul sits.
In her new book, Schillace explores White’s career as a groundbreaking surgeon and researcher. He never achieved his ultimate goal, which was to perform the operation that would let a human soul live on after the body died.
“It was perfume, but now it’s an empty bottle,” Dr. White said in 1967, as he held an isolated brain in his palm. “But the fragrance is still there.”
By then, White’s surgical experiments had already led to techniques that preserve function in injured brains and spines. This gave neurosurgeons time to do their lifesaving work. The approach, known as hypothermic perfusion, is still used today on trauma patients and those in cardiac arrest.
But for 40 years, until his death in 2010, White hoped of performing his monkey surgery — which he preferred to call a body transplant — on humans.
5 thoughts on “Dr. Tries to Surgically Remove the Soul from the Body”
This is a disturbing article. As a Christian, I applaud every medical advance, but what Dr. White did or thought he did was false. Genesis 2:7 states that God formed Adam from clay, breathed into him the breath of life and he became a living eternal soul. Every person has a living soul apart from the brain. Animals do not have souls. Transplants have saved many peoples’ lives, but head transplants would cross an unnatural and dangerous boundary. The same is true for cloning people. This is unnatural Frankenscience and is unethical. It should not be done!
Every living thing has a soul. If you’ve read your bible it said everything was formed spiritually before mortally. So you see every living thing has a soul.
Bless him for attempting it. Some day someone will be successful based on previously acquired knowledge which scientists like Dr. White have left us.
He transplanted “a head” or as he prefers to say, he transplanted “a body”. This does not prove that he had anything to do with the animals’ souls! A soul is intangible, and is said to leave a body if need be or upon death of the body. ANY wild macaque or wild animal would react defensively to a human’s touch if there is a perceived threat to itself. This does not mean he achieved a “soul transplant”. An extraordinary achievement yes. But not a soul transplant.
I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s
both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
The issue is an issue that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about.
I am very happy that I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.