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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Christiaan Barnard Quotes

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Christiaan Barnard
(8 Nov 1922 - 2 Sep 2001)

South African surgeon who performed the world's first human heart transplant operation on Louis Washkansky, in a five-hour operation on 3 Dec 1967.


Science Quotes by Christiaan Barnard (10 quotes)

Any man who says he doesn’t like applause and recognition is either a fool or a liar. You learn from mistakes, but success gives you the courage to go on and do even more.
— Christiaan Barnard
As quoted in Lawrence K. Altman, 'Christiaan Barnard, 78, Surgeon For First Heart Transplant, Dies', New York Times (3 Sep 2001)
Science quotes on:  |  Applause (9)  |  Courage (70)  |  Do (1908)  |  Fool (116)  |  Learn (632)  |  Liar (6)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mistake (170)  |  More (2559)  |  Recognition (88)  |  Say (984)  |  Success (303)

Christ, it’s going to work!
— Christiaan Barnard
Exclaimed at end of the first heart transplant operation, when an electric shock was applied to the first transplanted heart, and it jumped and started beating swiftly. As quoted in Melissa August, et al., '34 Years Ago in Time', Time (15 Dec 1967).
Science quotes on:  |  Christ (17)  |  Heart Transplant (6)  |  Success (303)  |  Surgery (51)  |  Work (1351)

For a dying man it is not a difficult decision [to agree to become the world's first heart transplant] … because he knows he is at the end. If a lion chases you to the bank of a river filled with crocodiles, you will leap into the water convinced you have a chance to swim to the other side. But you would not accept such odds if there were no lion.
— Christiaan Barnard
In Janie B. Butts and Karen Rich, Nursing Ethics (2005), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (192)  |  Bank (30)  |  Become (815)  |  Chance (239)  |  Chase (14)  |  Crocodile (14)  |  Decision (91)  |  Difficult (247)  |  End (590)  |  First (1284)  |  Heart (230)  |  Heart Transplant (6)  |  Know (1519)  |  Leap (53)  |  Lion (22)  |  Man (2249)  |  Other (2236)  |  Risk (62)  |  River (121)  |  Side (232)  |  Swim (30)  |  Transplant (12)  |  Water (482)  |  Will (2354)  |  World (1778)

I don’t believe medical discoveries are doing much to advance human life. As fast as we create ways to extend it we are inventing ways to shorten it.
— Christiaan Barnard
What They Said (1970), 374.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  Create (235)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Doing (280)  |  Extend (128)  |  Human (1470)  |  Life (1799)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Way (1216)

If the poor overweight jogger only knew how far he had to run to work off the calories in a crust of bread he might find it better in terms of pound per mile to go to a massage parlor.
— Christiaan Barnard
In M. P. Singh, Quote Unquote: A Handbook of Quotations (2007), 131.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (488)  |  Bread (39)  |  Crust (38)  |  Diet (54)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Find (999)  |  Poor (136)  |  Run (174)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Work (1351)

It is infinitely better to transplant a heart than to bury it to be devoured by worms.
— Christiaan Barnard
In 'People', Time (31 Oct 1969).
Science quotes on:  |  Better (488)  |  Bury (17)  |  Devour (29)  |  Heart (230)  |  Heart Transplant (6)  |  Transplant (12)  |  Worm (42)

On Saturday, I was a surgeon in South Africa, very little known ... [and] ... On Monday, I was world renowned.
— Christiaan Barnard
In Janie B. Butts and Karen Rich, Nursing Ethics (2005), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Africa (35)  |  Biography (242)  |  Fame (50)  |  Known (454)  |  Little (708)  |  Saturday (11)  |  South (38)  |  Surgeon (63)  |  World (1778)

Suffering isn’t ennobling, recovery is.
— Christiaan Barnard
Quoted in Patricia T. O’Conner, 'Recovery Is Ennobling, Suffering Is Not', New York Times (28 Apr 1985), BR9.
Science quotes on:  |  Recovery (23)  |  Suffering (67)

The heart transplant wasn’t such a big thing surgically. The point is I was prepared to take the risk. My philosophy is that the biggest risk in life is not to take the risk.
— Christiaan Barnard
In conversation with Time magazine. As quoted in 'Christiaan Barnard', Encyclopedia of World Biography.
Science quotes on:  |  Heart (230)  |  Heart Transplant (6)  |  Life (1799)  |  Philosophy (382)  |  Point (580)  |  Risk (62)  |  Surgery (51)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Transplant (12)

The prime goal is to alleviate suffering, and not to prolong life. And if your treatment does not alleviate suffering, but only prolongs life, that treatment should be stopped.
— Christiaan Barnard
Attributed.
Science quotes on:  |  Goal (146)  |  Life (1799)  |  Prolong (29)  |  Suffering (67)  |  Treatment (130)


See also:
  • 8 Nov - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Barnard's birth.
  • One Life, by Christiaan Barnard and Curtis Bill Pepper. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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