Before Christiaan Barnard's first transplantation of a human heart, in 1967, South Africa had not stood at the center of the world's medical stage. At least partly this reflects the isolated position of the country, far from the usual flights of passage of the migratory leaders of scientific medicine. But, in addition to heart transplantation, there have been other events in South Africa in recent months which deserve more than local attention.
In July, for example, the South African Medical Journal sponsored an international conference on an equally controversial subject. Organized chiefly through the energy of P. J. van Biljon, the editor of the journal, a Medical News Reporting Conference brought guest speakers to Pretoria from North America, Great Britain, and other parts of South Africa, both physicians and representatives of the news media, to discuss possibilities of mutual accommodation and cooperation between the two professions.
It is scarcely surprising