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Posted on January 6, 2018 at 4:30 AM

On Jan. 6, 1968, Stanford surgeon Norman Shumway performed the first U.S.
adult heart transplantation. 

His resident asked: “Do you think this is really legal?”

“I guess we’ll see,” Shumway said.

It was years before California legally recognized brain death as death. So, arguably the donor was still alive at the time her heart was transplanted. Indeed, Shumway arguably “killed” her by removing her heart.

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