The news of the terminally ill man who received a heart transplant from a genetically modified pig has gone around the world: a medical breakthrough. As the „Washington Post“ reported, the recipient of the donor organ almost took the life of a human being himself.
In 1988, David Bennett Sr. was convicted of assaulting Edward Shumaker, who was 22 at the time. He stabbed Shumaker seven times. As a result, Shumaker spent the next 19 years in a wheelchair before suffering a heart attack in 2005 and dying two years later.
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You want the “second chance” that Bennett received thanks to the latest technologies, “would have gone to see a patient who deserved it more,” she quotes „Washington Post“ Shumakers Schwester Leslie Shumaker Downey.
Officials at the University of Maryland Hospital where the surgery was performed responded to the US media request with a written statement: “The patient came to see us in great distress. And the decision to have a transplant was made solely on the basis of her medical records. Life-saving treatments are given to each patient based on their medical needs, not their living conditions.
Bioethics professor Arthur Caplan said that „To post“It’s not about separating sinners from saints. Crime is a matter of law.
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At the same time, the article attempts to open precisely this ethical dimension of the case. Bennett’s victim 34 years ago, Edward Shumaker, was with him in high school. After seeing his then-wife Norman Jean Bennett and Shumaker physically approach him, he stabbed him from behind in the stomach, chest, and back at a pool table. Bennett was charged with attempted murder but was ultimately only convicted of assault.
The recipient of the donor heart would never have paid the fine
He spent six years in prison and paid Shumaker $30,000 in compensation. After a civil lawsuit filed by the victim and his family, Bennett was even ordered to pay $3.4 million, which he never paid.
Shumaker suffered from infections and pressure points after the attack and lived in care facilities. His brother, who took him to the pool bar, took it out on himself, became a drug addict and died of an overdose in 1999.
“My dad never told me about it in his whole life,” Bennett Senior’s son reportedly said. He won’t say anything about the allegations – but is proud of the father’s courage to have the surgery himself at risk. “He has a strong will and a desire to live.” His victim’s sister, Leslie Shumaker Downey, found it hurtful that Bennet Sr. was portrayed as a hero. “He got another chance at life. But my brother Ed didn’t get that chance. He got the death penalty.”