Bioethics Blogs

Unrealistic Hope at End of Life – Swimming with Crocodiles

In 1967, Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first human heart transplant operation.  The patient, Louis Washkansky, was a 54-year-old grocer, suffering from diabetes and incurable heart disease.

Barnard remarked:  “For a dying man it is not a difficult decision because he knows he is at the end. If a lion chases you to the bank of a river filled with crocodiles, you will leap into the water, convinced you have a chance to swim to the other side.”

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