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May 1989

Technology and the Goals of Medicine

Author Affiliations

Houghton, Mich

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(5):1216. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390050162037

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To the Editor.—You remember a few years ago when Dr DeVries grafted Barney Clark onto a machine? It created quite a stir. Television, magazine articles, it even made the cover of Life, with Dr DeVries magnanimously handing us all a heart. I thought that Prometheus bringing fire to mankind would hardly have been as well received. At first I thought that this was all a bit much of a fuss for something the success of which was so ambiguous. Then I decided that it must just be professional envy; here I was, just a geriatric doctor in the slow lane with no media entourage to capture me in the glory of success or the abyss of defeat. My suspicion of professional envy was confirmed 1 or 2 years ago when I, too, had the opportunity to become a hero. Let me tell you the story.

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