Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: heart surgery

  • Patients without borders: Cardiac surgery, activism, and advocacy

    Annabelle SlingerlandLeiden, Netherlands In the 1970s, a “patients without borders” organization made it possible for people with severe heart disease to be flown to other countries for treatment that was unavailable in their home country. It was a decade after Christiaan Barnard had pioneered heart transplantation in South Africa, and although most patients did not…

  • Learning compassion – learning forgiveness

    Larry ZaroffCalifornia, United States I once made a technical error that injured a patient. An error of commission. Distressed, I wrote to several cardiac surgeons with whom I was acquainted through training or practice. I asked if they had made similar mistakes and how they were dealing with their mistakes. Were they embarrassed, ashamed? Did…