Integrative Approach

Integrative physiologists looked at the arrhythmia from an opposite direction: How one can restore normal rhythm in hearts with failed sinoatrial or atrioventricular nodes using technological means available to us at the present time? How one can terminate lethal ventricular fibrillation using biomedical engineering approaches? Electrotherapy, including implantable devices and ablation, has emerged as the only effective therapeutic approach to treat arrhythmia, often without precise knowledge of the mechanisms of arrhythmia it treats. History of cardiac bioelectric therapy is long and fascinating, spanning several centuries, many countries, and several continents. Ideas to use electricity for treating cardiac disorders apparently have been born in the minds of the Italian, French, and British physicians and physiologists as evident from the numerous eighteenth-century publications in these languages, culminating in arguably the first report of a patient's treatment for cardiopulmonary arrest by electricity from Charles Kite. The nineteenth-century cardiac physiology has brought about both recognition of importance of arrhythmia as a direct cause of death and provided compelling evidence for the ability of electric stimulation to restore normal sinus rhythm in cases of both bradycardia and tachyarrhythmia. The twentieth century finally brought to fruition three centuries of research and developed an array of therapies that now save millions of patients worldwide with more than a million new implantations annually.

In this book major aspects of the development of this truly outstanding achievement are presented: bioelectric therapy of cardiac arrhythmia that allowed a significant extension of human life. Leading experts in the field contributed rigorous accounts of historical, theoretical, experimental, engineering, and clinical tracks of the development of implantable device therapy. A history of cardiac bioelectric therapy has not yet been written. However, let me conclude with a vision that was formulated by Hubert Humphrey in the U.S. Senate in October 13, 1962, after his meeting with Professors Vladimir Negovsky and Naum Gurvich that led to his recognition of importance of defibrillation and to subsequent increased federal and private financial support for this important field of physiology and medicine.6

I do, however, want to state that it is one of the most important of all phases of medical research. Why? Because it concerns the most universal interest of man; namely: the prolongation of human life, the postponement of death, and, yes, perhaps the greatest scientific frontier - the reversibility of death...

What do I urge, therefore? I urge establishing under NIH support of specialized centers or institutes on the physiology of death, on resuscitation and on related topics. I urge that the United States compete with the U.S.S.R. in bold research toward at least partial conquest of death. Already our scientists and Russian scientists are cooperating in categorical studies of heart ailments, cancer and other diseases. Now, let us recognize that a new category has emerged - the oldest category in the world - but one which commands our newest efforts -the category of death, itself...

llhlll »LitMINt. fiilU

H 10-15-62

An Important Piute of World Medici] Re-searthi Let'. Compete Willi U.S.5.R. ¡a Research on Revenibility of Death




.Saturday, October J J, if 62 Mr. HUMPHREY. Mr. President, «10 87 th Congress has enacted n number of landmark bill» for the strengthening of American and International medical research.

However« at this Lime, I should like to comment upon one phaio of medical research, Which hut not, im fur tu tiatcly, received sufficient administrative stlen-tlon by Federal agcncles,

E ccauae the hour la Ute In this session. I will not presume to take the time of tho Senate to'describe this subject In ere« detail,

1 do, however, want to state that It la one of the most important of all ph«« or fhMicm rescsrcn,

«nii (»UU4D u concerns the moat universal Interest of man; name!*: tho prolongation of human hie. the postponement of death, and, yea. perhaps the Greatest seirmifle fron iter—-the reversibility of death.


(Tonigresüional Recorrí

H 10-15-62

Roan 162, Old Senate Office KLdg.


OCTOBER 25, 1962


him »twronr uchi coordination

Earlier T nad communicated with the National Institute* of Health as regards present NTH aupport of the study of what might bo called the nhvsiology of death.

Will docs support numerous Important investigation*. both In basic and applied research on death processes.

ThCfO 1», however, lack hie a quality which I, fnr one, hove. In nil frankness, repeatedly found wanting both here and In other areas of NIH support.

I refer to the missing Ingredient of coordination, of Integration, of evaluation, of sy&lomntio pooling of Interdisciplinary knowledge under an'emerging new category and by atrong teams.


In all conccu. I say that the National Institutes of Health have Lhc Idea that they discharge their obligations whoa they merely hand out money to a variety Of good Investigator*.

If, for example. 20 Investigators apply for money, if a study section and m grant council approve 10 or IS of the studies, if the studies proceed, then Niii tends to rest content,

I, for one. do not feel satisfied with this limited, passive nporoach.

I have selected certain items which illustrate, I believe, the challenge confronting mankind.

One is en Introduction to an article In th* August 25, 1063 imiie r,* Situr-dav Kftviow. as written by Jonn Lear, xeinncK eaitflr.

Trie art jo'o it&clf comprised quotations from Professor Necovikll's latest book.

The secund item is the preface to Professor Neeovakli's book, as written oy proiew ucck, Mr. Lear's brief introduction uj Projessor Beck'* comments is also Included.

The third item consists Of a supplementary memorandum which I hnd invited from Professor Beck on this subject.

I ask unanimous consent that the Items ba printed at this point In the Record.

Thera being no objection, the items were ordered to be printed In the

ItECOMD as follow*:

HEW THONTn* IN Ifivllf ttlfHCtt

(Rarru'a Not*.—Almost unknown u> tn# Amcrirnn p*opU, the*« hn* been taking pla« In roeint yMn, In vorJev* par it of the wgrld. includlna Uu eoitnuji, « revoluilcimi ihjn in tho ipprmch u m * turfy e>I den lb. Tw tha Qla nntl nubllihid ways t>f preventing death ha« be«n nUdcd tiro possibility of livers! ngdenth, nnO window» hny0 b<fn opened onto understanding 0t uis I oil ni id m« e* belli rr.j involved In iht proccu of dying Although com« ef tho very n«t step* In ihU

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