This era of playing God has just been escalated a level. Not only are we replacing organs, but fundamentally changing the way they work.
Heart Stop Beating is the short film by Jeremiah Zagar of Focus Forward Films, Zagar documents the miracle story of two pioneering doctors, Billy Cohn and Bud Frazier, from the Texas Heart Institude, who in 2011 successfully replaced a dying man’s heart with ‘continuous flow’ rotor-driven device.
Check out this truly mind blowing short movie to learn more… (oh and a word of warning to the squemish amongst us – the video is graphic!)
Craig Lewis was a 55-year-old, dying from amyloidosis, which causes a build-up of abnormal proteins. The proteins clog the organs so much that they stop working. He survived for 5 weeks without a heart (ultimately the illness which crippled his heart originally spread throughout other organs in the body). But after the operation, with the ‘machine’ as his heart’s replacement, Lewis’ blood continued to flow through his body.
However, when doctors put a stethoscope to his chest, no heartbeat or pulse can be heard (only a ‘humming’ sound)—which “by all criteria that we conventionally use to analyze patients”, Doctor Cohn said, he is dead.
It’s a thought provoking achievement and challenges fundamental perceptions on what it is to be alive.
This is proof that “human physiology can be supported without a pulse”.