Also, this is not going to end well for the adventurous doctor or his patient. Granted, I am not a surgeon - I am merely a medical student. But even as a Medical student, I foresee a horrendous number of potential complications and issues with this surgery. For starters, leaving aside EVERYTHING else, this is new territory for humans. Yes, there have been Russian experiments in the past involving dogs, but this has never been done in a human, and I can tell you that the dogs did not experience a satisfactory outcome in the long term (they survived for a few days). Granted, technology has improved immeasurably, but this is still uncharted waters.
Now, of course, just because surgery hasn't been performed before isn't a reason to never do it - if we adopted that rule, we'd never innovate at all. But usually when someone ventures forth into hitherto untested surgical waters, they 1) Have a DAMN good reason for doing so, and 2) Are likely to achieve a satisfactory outcome. This doesn't appear to be the case this time. This surgeon is a maverick who, from the grape vine, isn't particularly skilled - he's probably decent, but he's certainly not world-famous (he certainly wasn't before this announcement). And the honest to goodness truth is that the patient 1) Unlikely to survive, 2) Even if they do survive, they may have horrendous complications and 3) Best case scenario they live but are attached to a useless, unmoving body that serves as little more than a life-support machine, given that I highly, highly, HIGHLY doubt he has the skill or the technology to attach a spinal cord to another spinal cord.
And you may ask the question: "Why not try this? What does the patient, who is dying, have to lose?"
Well, let's see:
1) The remainder of his life. He's dying. He is not Dead. If this surgical adventure takes place and progresses in the likely direction, then he won't be dying any more, true enough, but that's because he he'll be stone-cold dead. I don't know, and I cannot predict how much time this patient has left, but if he's being considered for surgery, that implies he has an adequate physiological reserve to survive the surgery (provided that this doctor isn't totally incompetent and/or unethical). If he was on Death's door literally, he wouldn't be a candidate. So he almost certainly has time left on the clock to lose. That's not nothing.
2) If by some miracle this surgeon manages to successfully carry out the transplant, the patient may be better of dead than alive. He'll almost certainly be put on a cardiopulmonary by-pass machine and they are notorious for causing brain damage (sometimes very severe brain damage). Now, Cardiopulmonary by-pass is important - sometimes we have no choice but to put a patient on it, but it's risky and patients can come off with significant neurological damage. He may live - but he may either never wake up, or wake up with bits of his brain infarcted. What's worse - to die in a few years, still largely yourself with your mind intact, or to live for a decade or two longer attached to an unmoving body, potentially with catastrophic brain damage, on powerful anti-rejection medication stuck in a hospital bed forever? I've seen outcomes for patients who have had catastrophic brain injuries and strokes and I can tell you that personally, I would rather the plug be pulled than to live in that sort of medicalized limbo.
This is, honestly, unethical. I have not met a single doctor or surgeon who thinks this is a good idea. I have no idea how he will manage to get a team assembled to help him carry this task out.