n South African Medical Journal - Defining Moments - An Autobiography, Marius Barnard, with Simon Norval : book review

Volume 101, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



The essential requirement for an autobiography is truthfulness. In that regard, Marius Barnard in his book written in conjunction with family friend and author Simon Norval, has met the challenge with distinction. With complete candour he describes, in sequence, his early days in Beaufort West, his devotion to and esteem for his parents who served the religious needs of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised community of the Karoo town, his days as a medical student at the University of Cape Town and society doctor in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (that was), his training as cardiac surgeon at Groote Schuur Hospital and in the USA, his participation in the world's first heart transplant on 3 December 1967 under the direction of his brother Chris, his contribution to the development of cardiac surgery in Romania (then part of the Soviet Union), his work as member of Parliament for Parktown while at the same time conducting private practice in Johannesburg, and in the latter part of his long career his work in developing and promoting critical illness insurance.

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