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NOVA; Cut to the Heart


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Cut to the Heart
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

When a new, revolutionary type of heart surgery is performed in Brazil, the world of medicine becomes divided. Dr. Randas Batista, a Brazilian cardiologist and heart surgeon, has developed a method of removing large areas of patients' hearts in cases of congestive heart failure due to the organ's enlargement. The procedure is controversial in the United States because of Batista's lack of sophisticated monitoring equipment and patient follow-up. Should doctors in the United States offer the surgery to those patients waiting for heart donors, in a country where only 2,500 donor hearts are available each year? Or will the procedure shorten their lives even more? This episode examines the controversies within the medical community and provides startling footage of the surgery. The program also follows two case studies within the United States, chronicling the benefits and frustrations of those who have undergone the surgery.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Cut to the Heart,” 04/02/1997, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 10, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_11057433B53E490A841682B6E3551AC2.
MLA: “NOVA; Cut to the Heart.” 04/02/1997. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 10, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_11057433B53E490A841682B6E3551AC2>.
APA: NOVA; Cut to the Heart. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_11057433B53E490A841682B6E3551AC2
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