largely engineering in nature, and thus amenable to the same general approach as that being concurrently used in the space program.

The President's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke recommends development of the artificial heart.


Congress invites the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to state for the record how much money in addition to its current budget it would require to start a planning program to develop the artificial heart. NIH requests $40 million for fiscal years 1965-1968.


NIH Director James Shannon, who has stated that a full-scale effort to develop an artificial heart is premature, writes to the Surgeon General and the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare stating that he does not think that total cardiac replacement is feasible at the current time and that concentration of money and effort toward this end would curtail development of alternative strategies to reduce end-stage heart disease mortality and morbidity.


Director Shannon persuades Congress that the artificial heart can be developed for less money than currently appropriated (i.e., $10 million per year). He renames the program “The Artificial Heart-Myocardial Infarction Program” and allocates $8.5 million to research contracts, of which $2.9 million is used to support research on electrical, nuclear, and other power sources.

In South Africa, Christiaan Barnard performs the first human heart transplant.


Denton Cooley of the Texas Heart Institute performs a human artificial heart implant to keep a patient who had postoperative complications alive until a donor heart could be found and transplanted. The patient survives 64 hours on the device, but dies 32 hours after the transplant.

Emphasis in the artificial heart program shifts from separate development of each component to integrating existing components to produce a fully implantable cardiac assist device for testing in animals.

The proceedings of the first Artificial Heart Conference, sponsored by NHI's artificial heart program, are published. The proceedings note that the philosophy of the artificial heart program is to stress rehabilitation rather than mere prolongation of life.

The NHI-sponsored Ad Hoc Task Force on Cardiac Replacement, consisting of 10 members, 9 of whom are drawn from the medical community, publishes a report, Cardiac Replacement: Medical, Ethical, Psychological, and Economic Implications. The task force concludes that the most serious technical problem confronting the

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