The Artificial Heart, Revisited

The new model is a big improvement over the torture devices of the 1980s, but is it the answer to our prayers?

More than 4,000 Americans on any given day are waiting for a heart transplant. Because of a shortage of donors, about a third of them will die before a suitable replacement can be found. So when surgeons in Louisville, Ky., sewed a high-tech artificial heart into a desperately ill man last week, it seemed like the answer to a lot of prayers. The patient, whose name has not been released, is described as a diabetic in his mid to late 50s who developed congestive heart failure after suffering several heart attacks. If he survives and his health improves even a little,...

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