Day 6

Brain surgery meets reality TV

For the first time in U.S. history, a brain surgery will be broadcast live on primetime television. But does this cross an ethical line? Brent speaks to the lead neurosurgeon involved.
(CURE International)

Would you consent to having your brain surgery broadcast live on television? 

While it is isn't uncommon to see a live surgery demonstration broadcast at a medical conference, for the first time in U.S. history a brain surgery will shown on primetime television. 49-year-old Greg Grindley is the man who will be going under the knife this Sunday. And he'll be fully awake throughout the six-hour procedure, which involves the insertion of surgical implants to treat tremors related to early onset Parkinson's disease.

The channel behind the initiative is National Geographic and to ensure a good show it's turned to one of Hollywood's go-to makers of reality television for help -- the production company best-known for shows like "Pawn Stars," "Real Housewives of New Jersey," and "Monster In-Laws."

So how does a surgeon balance the competing agendas of doing good surgery with making entertaining television? Brent speaks with the lead neurosurgeon on Sunday's operation, Dr. Jonathan Miller. He's the director of the Center for Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery at Cleveland's University Hospitals Case Medicine Center.

Brain Surgery Live airs on Sunday, October 25 on the National Geographic Channel in Canada and the U.S.