Lucky Lindy's organ pumps

less than 1 minute read

What an interesting book review by Abigail Zuber, of a new book about Charles Lindbergh's medical collaboration with famous surgeon Alexis Carrel. Lindbergh designed pumps to keep organs alive outside the body:

And that thyroid gland was more than just preserved: still dutifully producing thyroid hormone, it seemed eerily alive. It lasted only a few weeks, but it was soon replaced by a row of other pump-maintained organs, including a cat's ovary that continued to ovulate on the pump. Small wonder the newspapers of the time went wild: "One Step Nearer to Immortality," one headline read.

Crazy. Then, the two directed their energies toward eugenics:

The scientific success only fueled Lindbergh and Carrel's philosophic zeal: if immortality was indeed on the horizon, it certainly should not be for everyone. In his 1935 best seller "Man, the Unknown," Carrel urgently argued for the creation of biologic classes, with the weak and sick at one end, and the strong and fit (long might they live, propagate and receive new organs as needed) at the other. The sorting was to be accomplished by a council of scientific experts much like himself.

The book is called The Immortalists, by David Friedman.