Heart Surgery: Were Transplants Premature?

Criticism and caution about heart transplants have been welling up for weeks. So, as Capetown Surgeon Christiaan N. Barnard began his second U.S. tour, he tackled the issue headon. Barnard chose the title "Was Human Cardiac Transplantation Premature?" for his presentation to the American College of Cardiology in San Francisco. Emphatically, he said that it was not.

Other opinions varied widely. Most sensible and restrained was a report by the Board on Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Investigational transplants are now "appropriate" in man, said the board, but surgical teams...