By Tessa Berenson
February 26, 2015

A surgeon says the first human head transplant could take place within the next two years.

Sergio Canavero, a doctor in Turin, Italy, has drawn up the plans for the radical surgery and hopes to begin assembling a team this June, the Guardian reports.

“If society doesn’t want it, I won’t do it. But if people don’t want it, in the U.S. or Europe, that doesn’t mean it won’t be done somewhere else,” he said. “I’m trying to go about this the right way, but before going to the moon, you want to make sure people will follow you.”

Although Canavero says the technology isn’t far off from making this surgery possible, he could confront a range of ethical issues. “The real stumbling block is the ethics,” Canavero told New Scientist magazine. “Should this surgery be done at all? There are obviously going to be many people who disagree with it.”

The first successful head transplant was completed in 1970 on a monkey. The monkey couldn’t move its body and died after nine days.

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