A middle aged man lay dying of heart failure consents to an experimental artificial heart. The post op course was stormy and with no improvement. His wish was to die at home-so he was discharged. At the funeral, his wife presented the doctors with a law suit. "You buried my husband without his heart. They found his heart; put it back in his chest; the law suit vanished.
This case has had a profound effect on author's thinking and conduct as a physician cardiologist. Author realized we were all about the heart as a pump--not the symbolic heart.
This essay surveys how a host of ancient cultures, religions, and civilizations envisioned the homo sapient heart. before the discovery of the the circulation in 1628 by William Harvey and how it will preserve our species.