First ‘Dead Heart’ Transplant a Success


st-vincentsA team of surgeons at St. Vincent’s Hospital inĀ  Sydney, Australia say they have successfully performed the first ever “dead heart” transplant. This means the doctors used a donor heart that had stopped beating, in this case for 20 minutes. Donor hearts from adults usually come from people who can be brain dead, but have a heart that is still beating.

Until this operation, the heart was the only organ that was not used after cardiac arrest. The woman who received the heart, Michelle Gribilas, 57, said she felt a decade younger and is now a “different person.”

The heart was revived in a machine called a “heart-in-a-box,” and scientists believe the success of this device could allow the saving of up to 30% more lives. Read more at the BBC.

{Andy Newscenter}


  1. If this works it is a really big deal. Until now, a donor heart can only be taken from a living breathing body. That means, by the opinion that halachic death is cessation of respiration or circulation, that a donor patient is murdered for the benefit of the heart transplant recipient. (By the opinion that halachic death is brain death this is not an issue because a donor heart is only taken from a brain dead patient.) But if this works, it will make make more hearts available and will get around the halachic issues.

  2. What a game changer!
    If this can become truly viable, Halachic transplants can now be truly an option and maybe a mitvah and may even become standard practice!