Australian scientists have successfully transplanted a bionic heart into a sheep. The operation was done in January and the sheep was fine shortly after it. But the article doesn’t say how the sheep is doing now and that’s very important information. If something like this isn’t mentioned I always get very uncomfortable and wonder what they are hiding. Maybe it wasn’t such a success after all? The fact that the device can last 10 years doesn’t mean that someone can live 10 years with it.
But isn’t it good news for those who need a new heart? Not really. Even if this bionic heart can do the job, it won’t do it for that long and the patient still needs a donor heart. And they are scarce, because of the growing number of people needing one. Of course the scientists like to say that this way a patient can stay alive till a donor heart come available, but that doesn’t make any sense. The number of donors won’t go up and the number of people on the waiting list won’t go down. One heart can only go to one person, no matter if someone has a bionic heart or not. If you can keep one person alive longer, someone else will die instead. That’s the hard reality. So unless an artificial heart can be made that can last 30 or more years this technology isn’t very useful. It might give someone a few more years and that’s good. But wouldn’t that same patient rather get cured and live till 90?
Every time the same problem shows up: medical scientists are not interested in prevention and they aren’t interested in a cure. They just want to keep themselves in a job, finding absurd new therapies or advanced technical devices. But the number of heart patients keeps going up and if we could reverse that process then in 10 years hardly anyone would need a donor heart anymore and this kind of technology would be completely redundant. 100 years ago heart disease was so rare that most medical schools didn’t even teach about it. An average doctor in 1900 didn’t know what cardiovascular disease was and probably would never see a heart patient in his life. Now every 12 minute someone dies from it.
We are clearly doing something wrong as a society. And if we would change that, then many problems would be solved. It would mean simple measures as banning dangerous processed foods from the supermarkets and getting people off their office chairs and into physical labour. But this won’t happen. Governments are in bed with the food, medical and pharmaceutical industry and have no interest in making positive changes. So the only people who could change society are the individual people themselves. And more and more people actually do that. But many very sick people are not aware that they have a chance for a cure if they take matters into their own hands. So they remain sick and might die thinking it was their fate. But just as well as lifestyle changes can prevent disease it can also cure disease. But doctors won’t tell them and if nobody else does they will never know.
And that’s the very sad state of our society. The people get sicker and sicker and all doctors and scientists can offer is a little bit extra time for some patients. And that’s hardly worth a headline.