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Full Body Transplant, Sound Tempting?

loveyourbody240I just got back from vacation, so my apologies for being gone for so long.

I couldn’t believe the headline. An Italian doctor thinks he can figure out how to transplant a person’s head on to a donor body in the near future. The doctor told New Scientist how he plans to make it happen with a detailed written plan.

The Horror

On one level it’s horrifying. Something from a bad sci-fi movie.

On another level it’s profoundly unbelievable. The procedure would be fraught with numerous medical challenges.
But it made me wonder about the choice, if such a procedure existed and was completely safe and feasible.

If you could switch bodies with someone else, would you?

Most would flat out say no.

But I started to ask around, and the answers were very interesting.

One middle aged gentleman I asked told me that it would depend. If he had a terminal illness or was in agonizing pain, then yes he would go along with a body transplant. That made sense to me.

No Guarantees

I then reminded him that the new body would have no guarantee of being squeaky clean without it’s own wear and tear. No entire human body is in perfect running condition. We all have pain somewhere, or an old injury or surgery somewhere else. An imperfection here, a flab there.

One lady laughed when I asked her the question. She said “Of course I would if I could have Claudia Schiffer’s body.” Being a man, I guess I would too. But that’s getting too personal.

The lady thought about it more, and said “My body may not be perfect, but I love it. So no. I’ll keep my body.”
And this brings us to the next question.

Are You Accepting?

How accepting are you of your body?

Do you hate your body, or do you love your body? How about we all try to strike some middle ground and accept our bodies – big, small, tall, or short. There’s no right or wrong body type. Who cares what media tells us.

Did people 500 years ago question their bodies, or even care so much about their appearance and weight? Were they handing out magazines with photos of beautiful people to villagers? Did televisions blast commercial after commercial of idealized actors and actresses to the masses back then? Did modeling as an industry exist?

Media Madness

I’m getting sidetracked here, but society surely drives our expectations of appearance and our barometers for self-esteem. Which means we have to stay on top of what is reasonable and healthy.

The answer to the question of having a body transplant that I hope we can all arrive at is “No, I accept the body I have and would never dare switch with anyone else.”

Getting comfortable in your own skin begins with accepting your good and bad parts, and really forgetting what he media wants you to believe. Your worst critic is yourself. Nobody else really cares, unless you let them. The choice is yours.

I’m comfortable in my skin, with all its imperfections which really aren’t imprefections but shapes and curves someone else tells me are not fashionable. Who cares. Full body transplant? No thanks. I think I’ll pass.

by Dr. Charles Chaney

President, the Depression Health Network

Five women photo available from Shutterstock

Full Body Transplant, Sound Tempting?

Dr. Charles

Dr. Charles Chaney is a leading pain medicine physician and psychiatrist in Southern California who specializes in women's health. He completed training in interventional pain medicine at UCSD and in general adult and reproductive psychiatry at UCLA. He has several publications in peer-reviewed academic journals, and has given numerous talks at medical conferences.

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APA Reference
Chaney, C. (2015). Full Body Transplant, Sound Tempting?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 27 Feb 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Feb 2015
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