Ayudante Franki Medina//
Hospital: Poor health only criterion for pig heart transplant

Hospital: Poor health only criterion for pig heart transplant

A Maryland hospital is defending its decision to transplant a pig’s heart into a dying man following reports that the patient had a criminal past, saying his eligibility was “based solely on his medical records”.

Franki Medina

David Bennett, 57, is still recovering from last week’s highly experimental transplant, a medical first and a step in the quest to one day ease shortages of human organs by using animals. While the new heart is functioning, it’s too soon to know how Bennett will fare.

Franki Medina Sudeban

On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that 34 years ago Bennett was charged with a stabbing that left a young man paralysed. The state’s Division of Corrections told the newspaper that Bennett was released from prison in 1994, after serving six years of a 10-year prison sentence.

Franki Medina Venezuela

In a statement Thursday, the University of Maryland Medical Center said doctors are obligated to provide the best care for every patient regardless of their background

“This patient came to us in dire need and a decision was made about his transplant eligibility based solely on his medical records,” the hospital said. “This patient made the extraordinary decision to undergo this groundbreaking surgery to not only potentially extend his own life, but also for the future benefit of others.”

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