Implants from the dead and crowds giving life

In this week's programme we hear about a long running project to recycle implantable defibrillators, devices needed by some patients to help control heart rhythm. These devices are generally used just once, but for several years a group of physicians have been taking the devices from patients in the US, some of whom will have died, and transplanting them into patients in India. We hear about the practical and moral aspects of this treatment. This recycling would be illegal in the US, but for the recipients in India such devices are keeping them alive.

Now that the US presidential race is won we look at the prospects for people in the US with mental health problems and ask whether President Obama's Affordable Care Act will improve treatments for mental health.

We visit northern India, home to one of the world's largest annual festivals – the Kumbh Mela. This religious event involves millions of people coming together for up to a month and living in quite basic conditions. Such a large gathering would be considered a health risk, but we look at new research into the positive aspects of the event.

(Hindu devotees take a bath on the banks of river Ganges during the Kumbh Mela. Credit: PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

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18 minutes

Last on

Mon 12 Nov 2012 02:32 GMT

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