Hospital defends pig heart transplant for patient with criminal record
Washington. A Maryland hospital defends its decision to pig heart transplant A man is dying after news of a patient’s injury criminal recordHe said his eligibility was “based solely on his medical history.”
David Bennett, 57, is still recovering from last week’s highly experimental transplant, which marked a medical breakthrough and a step in the quest to alleviate the shortage of human organs using organs from animals. While the new heart works, it’s still too early to tell how Bennett will perform.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Bennett was charged 34 years ago in a stabbing incident that left a young man paralyzed. The state’s Department of Corrections told the newspaper that Bennett was released from prison in 1994 after serving six years of a 10-year sentence.
In a statement released Thursday, the University of Maryland Medical Center said physicians are obligated to provide the best care to all patients regardless of their background.
“This patient came to us in dire need and a decision on his eligibility for transplant was made based solely on his medical history,” the hospital said. “This patient made the extraordinary decision to undergo this ground-breaking surgery not only to prolong his life, but also for the benefit of others in the future.”
Bennett’s son, David Jr., issued a separate statement refusing to discuss his father’s past, saying he hopes to focus on “my father’s desire to contribute to science and possibly save patients’ lives in the future.”
Bennett was deemed unfit for a human heart transplant because of his condition: he had heart failure and an irregular heartbeat.
Read also: Pig-to-human heart transplantation, what are the risks involved in “xenotransplantation”?
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