A significant medical event is expected in 1992: the first human use of a fully implantable, long-term cardiac assist device. This timely volume reviews the artificial heart program--and in particular, the National Institutes of Health's major investment--raising important questions.
The volume includes:
- Consideration of the artificial heart versus heart transplantation and other approaches to treating end-stage heart disease, keeping in mind the different outcomes and costs of these treatments.
- A look at human issues, including the number of people who may require the artificial heart, patient quality of life, and other ethical and societal questions.
- Examination of how this technology's use can be targeted most appropriately.
- Attention to achieving access to this technology for all those who can benefit from it.
The committee also offers three mechanisms to aid in allocating research and development funds.