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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Flatline

7 minutes

How the future of treating heart disease might mean having no heartbeat

The heartbeat is synonymous with human life, but could we possibly live without one? Flatline tells the extraordinary story of Dr Bud Frazier and Dr Billy Cohn of the Texas Heart Institute, who in March of 2011 performed a continuous-flow artificial heart transplant to extend the life of a dying man. In doing so, they proved that it was possible for a person to live without a pulse. Directed by the US filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar, this short documentary explores how some advances in medical science and technology brush up against the limits of what we view as possible, making us reconsider what it means to be human.

Director: Jeremiah Zagar

Producer: Jeremy Yaches

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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Essay/
Gender & Sexuality
Transitioning

Individual transgender lives track a wider cultural history of surgery, hormones and revolutionised gender identities

Randi Hutter Epstein

Essay/
Old Age & Death
Die like a dog

Pet dogs often have a peaceful death that forestalls protracted suffering and pain. Why can’t we do the same for humans?

Joseph Pierre