Series on history of transplantation: William Bynum lecture (part one)


Wednesday 12 December 2018


Venue Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole Street
Organised by

History of Medicine Society


CPD - Applied for

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about this event

Join us as we explore the cultural history of the early heart transplants - focusing both on Christiaan Barnard’s first transplant in December 1967 and the first three British attempts in 1968 - 1969, but more generally on the first wave of transplants in the late 1960s. 

Medicine is now highly managed - with press conferences and hospital PR staff on hand, but in the late 1960s, this was all completely new. We'll be taking a look at the publicity management behind these breakthrough operations. 

What will the day include? 

  • Develop the capacity for critical thinking about the nature, ends and limits of medicine - how the high profile mediation of the early heart transplants contributed to a 10 year  international moratorium.  

  • Identify successes and failures in the history of medical professionalism - how the heart transplants and publicity surrounding them challenged and transformed established professional ethical codes of conducts. 

  • Recognise the dynamic interrelationship between medicine and society through history. 

  • Respond to changes in medical practice guided by a historically informed concept of professional responsibility and patient advocacy- looking at the dual role of media consumers also being medical consumers - and how the high mortality rate of the early heart transplants and ethical controversies for example surrounding brain death undermined trust in the medical profession as a whole. 


5.30 pm

Registration, tea and coffee

6.00 pm


Dr Anjna Harrar, President, History of Medicine Society, Royal Society of Medicine and Dr John Harcup

6.05 pm

The first heart transplants: A turning point in medical media relations

Dr Ayesha Nathoo, Research Fellow, University of Exeter

6.55 pm


7.15 pm

Close of meeting

7.20 pm

Dinner - for those who have pre-booked

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