David Bennett was a patient who recently underwent heart transplant surgery on a genetically modified pig for the first time in history, made in Maryland, USA. The news spreads around the world and gives hope for a revolutionary solution to the thousands of patients who are waiting for a harmonious organ, sometimes in vain. But this patient’s story takes an unexpected turn and raises questions about the “second chance” protocol. Washington Post.
Leslie Schumacher Downey received a text message on her cellphone Monday while she was taking care of her two grandchildren at home. Her daughter sent a link to an article about a 57-year-old man suffering from end-stage heart disease. Three days ago, at the University of Maryland Medical Center, he received the heart of a genetically modified pig. The first such transplant in history saved a man’s life and now offers the opportunity to save others. The woman thought as she read the title what a great invention for science.
Then the phone rang again. “Mom,” her daughter wrote. Asked to see the man’s name, Leslie froze.
An attack provoked by jealousy
David Bennett Sr., a pioneer in medicine, was paralyzed in 1988 by the same man who was convicted of stabbing his younger brother seven times. Edward Schumacher spent the next 19 years in a wheelchair, then died a week before his 41st birthday, two years after suffering a stroke in 2005.
“It simply came to our notice then. For many years, my family experienced a shock, while Bennett, after his release from prison, looked beyond his life. Now he has a second chance with a new heart. I think the heart must have reached someone who deserves it, ”said Leslie Schumacher Downey.
Her brother is a handsome young man. He was a high school classmate with Bennett, and the reason for his anger was jealousy: he saw his wife laughing and drinking with him at a bar. Schumacher lost four liters of blood and suffered injuries to his abdomen, spleen and other organs.
Bennett was sentenced to 10 years in prison, served six years in prison and released in 1994. Leslie Schumacher Downey says the money would not have come in, even if he had been sentenced to substantial damages.
Medicine and ethics
More than 106,000 Americans are on the national waiting list for organ transplants, and 17 die each day without receiving the organs they need. In the face of such a reality, it may seem unthinkable to some families that those involved in violent crime should benefit from a life-saving procedure that is much needed by many. Washington Post.
But Daily adds that most doctors do not share this opinion. There are no laws or regulations that prevent a person with a criminal record from undergoing an examination procedure such as transplant surgery or Bennett.
Arthur Kaplan, a professor of biological ethics at New York University, says, “The main principle of medicine is to treat any patient.” We do not deal with the deployment of sinful saints. Crime is a legal issue, ”said the doctor.
Why was David Bennett selected for this transplant?
Ethics regulators say the criminal justice system already imposes prison sentences, damages or other sanctions on those involved in violent crimes. Suspension of medical services is not part of these restrictions.
Scott Holburn, a professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “There is a good reason for this division between the legal and medical systems.” He said.
Officials at the University of Maryland Medical Center declined to say whether they were aware of Bennett’s criminal record. Washington Post. The Baltimore Hospital provides life-saving care to every patient who enters through its doors, based on their medical needs, their past or living conditions, the medical agency said.
“This patient came to us in a hopeless situation and the decision on his eligibility for transplant surgery was made exclusively on the basis of his medical record,” the hospital said in a press release.
“I had the option of death or this transplant. I have to live. I know it’s very dangerous, but it’s my last choice,” David Bennett said the day before the surgery. “I can not wait to get out of bed once I’ve recovered,” the man continued, adding that he had been stuck in bed for the past few months with a device that kept him alive.
Author: Luana Pavaluca