In 1968, the US Congress joined the growing ranks of those interested in medical ethics and decision making. In 1973, Congress created a national commission charged with recommending policies for human experimentation, and then in 1978 appointed a successor commission to examine almost every pressing issue in medical ethics. The commission idea was first fueled by the controversy surrounding heart transplantation; it then gathered momentum from a more general concern with new medical technologies, and finally became a reality in the wake of recurring scandals in human experimentation. Walter Mondale, a senator from Minnesota, introduced a bill to establish a Commission on Health Science and Society to assess and report on the ethical, legal, social, and political implications of biomedical advances. As Mondale and his supporters surveyed the territory, transplantation was only the lead issue, at the top of a burgeoning list of concerns whose resolution appeared to them to require more than the insights of physicians.