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September 1968

DNA Synthesis and Heart Transplant: Public Relations Aspects

Author Affiliations

From the News Bureau, Stanford Medical Center, Palo Alto, Calif. Mr. Andreopoulos is head of the Bureau.

Arch Surg. 1968;97(3):469-473. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01340030129012

When a human heart is transplanted, that's news—rather extraordinary news. No amount of planning can avoid the numerous sources that are readily available to experienced reporters when such an event occurs. If order is to be established and accuracy of reporting assured, the fullest cooperation is required of the physician, the hospital news bureau, and the assembled reporters of the various news media.

Clearly, the patient's rights and dignity must be protected, and just as clearly—the accuracy of reporting. The recent heart transplantation at Stanford Medical Center by Dr. Norman Shumway and his associates highlighted, for us at least, the impossibility of concealing such an event from the public news media and also, the news worthiness of the moment—a news account that could not wait until a series of cases had been accumulated or, for that matter, until the outcome of the Mike Kasperak case was known.

In cooperating with