Obituary of Hamilton Naki: Author's reply

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7515.517-a (Published 01 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:517
  1. Caroline Richmond, obituarist (c{at}roline.demon.co.uk)
  1. London SW3 5AQ

    EDITOR—When I wrote this obituary I relied on secondary sources because Hamilton Naki and Christiaan Barnard are both dead, and I thought it was unlikely that I could trace any of their former colleagues.

    An obituary in the Economist, widely respected for the accuracy of its reporting, stated that Naki dissected out the donor heart,1 and I had no reason to disbelieve it.

    Dent says that Hamilton Naki never worked at Groote Schuur. However, in a 1993 BBC interview, Naki talked about his surgical work at Groote Schuur.2 According to Alastair Leithead, BBC correspondent in Cape Town, “Mr Naki worked his way up to become even more nimble-fingered on the operating table than Professor Barnard himself. His work helped the first heart transplant become a reality and for years after that he passed on those skills to thousands of young surgeons.”


    • Competing interests None declared.


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