Friday, May 27, 2005

Auckland heart surgeons still doing good

The Herald reports this morning on a new surgical technique called 'kissing balloons' that adds further sophistication to heart surgery that even ten years ago just wasn't even possible, but is now almost routine.

"The proving and enhancing of the technique build on the work of the former Green Lane Hospital's cardiac team - now in Auckland City Hospital - in heart surgery on babies and valve replacement." That team are truly world-class, as I can attest myself from seeing them in action four years ago -- and about which I reflected here on Scoop.

The piece generated quite some controversy, as I recall: here -- to which I replied here -- and then here, which I think I'd already answered.

Here's my conclusion to that original piece:

...we in the West should not thank God for our expectations of living to a ripe old age, we should instead thank the thinkers who liberated our thought from religion -- thinkers like Aquinas and his mentor Aristotle -- thinkers who said that life is for living; that this earth is where that living should be done; and that with the use of reason we can become competent to provide for and to plan our own living.

Those thinkers who liberated us from the dirt-poor existence we might otherwise have faced empowered Western peoples to seek knowledge and happiness in this world, and to value life and living rather than death and destruction. The scientists and producers and technologists that they liberated have been furiously increasing the length and quality and comfort of our lives ever since, and we should all be very grateful for that. We, the people of the West, are in their debt, and so too is any refugee from Islam who has embraced these western values.

Owing the largest debt, perhaps, is anyone who is over forty - anyone who in a lesser culture may not be alive to be able to offer their thanks. In fact, - as I sat in a darkened, air-conditioned room watching my mother's weak and irregular heart-beat flicker on a brand new twelve-lead ECG monitor - I reflected that anyone who has ever had a life-saving operation, or been saved by the early attentions of a paramedic - even just spent a night in a hospital or taken a course of tablets - has very good reason to thank them.

On behalf of them all, and in particular on behalf of my Mum, let me say it for you all now: "Thank you!"

1 Comments:

Anonymous Ruth said...

It's remarkable what capitalism has achieved - not so many years after the Founding Fathers we were walking on the freaking moon. "Human Accomplishment" by Charles Murray is a good book on the pursuit of excellence.

5/27/2005 01:00:00 pm  

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