David Bennet (right) with his surgeon, Dr. Bartley Griffith, at University of Maryland Medical Center.
University of Maryland School of Medicine
A man with a life-threatening heart condition received a heart from a genetically altered pig Friday.
The patient in the historic procedure had been convicted of stabbing a man, according to The Washington Post.
Criminal history shouldn’t be a reason to deny anyone an organ transplant, medical ethicists say.
In a groundbreaking eight-hour transplant procedure on Friday, a man with a terminal heart condition received a new heart from a genetically altered pig.
That man, 57-year-old David Bennett Sr., woke up with a new heart at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. If successful, the pioneering procedure could one day save many more lives. More than 106,000 people are on the US organ transplant waiting list, and 17 people die each day waiting for a human organ, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.
But when Leslie Shumaker Downey got a text from her daughter telling her to look at the patient’s name that was all over the news, it tainted the medical breakthrough for her, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. In 1988, Bennett was convicted of stabbing Downey’s younger brother, Edward Shumaker, seven times.
Shumaker was paralyzed after the attack and used a wheelchair for the next 19 years, the Post reported. He suffered a stroke in 2005 and died a week before his 41st birthday in 2007, according to the report.
“Ed suffered,” Downey told the Post. “The devastation and the trauma, for years and years, that my family had to deal with.”
A court ordered Bennett to pay Shumaker and his family $3.4 million in damages, the Post reported, but Downey said her family never received any of that money. Bennett “went on and lived a good life” …read more