The idea of a head transplant seems bonkers enough, but if you've ever given more than two minutes' idle thought to the idea, you've probably found yourself asking one key question - would the consciousness of the original person also move across with it?
Fortunately for those of us pondering this sort of thing, there's a new book that looks at the concept. Mr Humble and Dr Butcher is the work of author Brandy Schillace, who was passed a blood-flecked notepad that once belonged to scientist and doctor Robert White.
White was a neurosurgeon, who had spent decades performing head transplant procedures on monkeys, in the hope of determining whether it could be done for humans.
Schillace says there is no doubt whether it's possible to do the operation, implying that it's not a question of whether it can be done, but whether it should be done.
White died in 2010, before ever completing the surgery on a human. His work was inspired by his belief that the brain is 'you', and by giving the brain a new body, it means the consciousness is saved.
But, sadly for the monkeys involved, and to the anger of animal rights' groups, the transplants that were carried out saw the new bodies unable to move.
While the heads regained some blood circulation, the spinal cord had been severed, meaning no movement could happen within the body. It's reported that hundreds of monkeys died during his experimenting.
But for Schillace, White's fascination stemmed from his faith.
Speaking to Wired, Schillace said: "He is deeply Catholic. And he was friends with Pope John Paul the Second, which is not something everyone is. And he really believed that what he had done to monkeys would be a sort of soul transplant for humans, and therefore, in some ways, proving there was a soul.
"This is very important to someone like White, who is deeply invested in the concept of an afterlife, and that humans had souls, and that animals did not. It wasn't just that he was interested in saving lives.
"He thought he was saving souls, by preserving the brain, and that's why the body was, in some ways, less interesting to him."
And while not everybody believes in the soul or an afterlife, there is a universal understanding that something inside us that makes each of us unique.
Schillace added: "And here was somebody trying with science, to find it to find it under a microscope, almost, and say, 'Right here is where you are'.
"It's both comforting and also frightening. Here's somebody who said, 'I'm going to find your soul. And then I'm going to preserve it for you.'"
However, one of White's colleagues said that the whole concept of being able to transplant heads was 'complete fantasy.
Dr Jerry Silver, who worked with White in the 1970s, told CBS News in an interview: "I remember that the head would wake up, the facial expressions looked like terrible pain and confusion and anxiety in the animal. The head will stay alive, but not very long."
Silver said that when doctors tried to feed the re-connected head, the food fell to the floor.
He added: "It was just awful. I don't think it should ever be done again.
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