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He once stabbed a man seven times. Now he?s a pig heart transplant pioneer.

the University of Maryland Medical Center
New York University
the University of Pennsylvania.“We
the Pittsburgh Steelers
the New York Times
the Double T Lounge
the Daily Mail
The Washington Post
Washington County Circuit
Division of Corrections
the Hagerstown Journal

Leslie Shumaker Downey
David Bennett Sr
Edward Shumaker
Arthur Caplan
Scott Halpern
Bartley Griffith
David Bennett Jr.
Jean Bennett
Daniel Moylan
Alice Crites


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North Carolina

New Year’s Eve

Positivity     44.00%   
   Negativity   56.00%
The New York Times
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“And we have a health-care system that aims to provide care without regard to people’s personal character or history.”University of Maryland Medical Center officials declined to say whether they knew about Bennett’s criminal past.In a written statement, officials said the Baltimore hospital provides “lifesaving care to every patient who comes through their doors based on their medical needs, not their background or life circumstances.”“This patient came to us in dire need,” the officials added, “and a decision was made about his transplant eligibility based solely on his medical records.”In interviews immediately after the historic nine-hour surgery, Bennett’s doctors said they proposed the experimental procedure after their hospital, and others, deemed Bennett ineligible for a normal human heart transplant.Bartley Griffith, who performed the surgery, told reporters the patient’s condition — heart failure and an irregular heartbeat — made Bennett ineligible.His son David Bennett Jr., who works as a physical therapist in North Carolina, also said several hospitals had declined to accept his father onto the waiting list because he had failed in the past to follow doctors’ orders and attend follow-up visits. “Then he said, ‘Well, will I oink?’ ”On New Year’s Eve, federal officials granted an emergency authorization for the experimental procedure.“It was either die or do this transplant,” Bennett said in a statement the day before his surgery.By then, he had already spent weeks bedridden in the hospital.“I want to live,” he said. Because the crime occurred more than three decades ago, court officials said that the case file had been destroyed, although The Washington Post obtained remaining summary documents that confirmed his conviction.A jury ultimately acquitted Bennett of intent to murder but found him guilty of battery and carrying a concealed weapon.At his sentencing, then-Washington County Circuit Judge Daniel Moylan called the stabbing a case of “extreme violence,” the Daily Mail reported.Bennett was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $29,824 in restitution to Shumaker. Records show that for years — even after Shumaker’s death in 2007 — the court kept renewing its judgment and ordering Bennett to pay what he owed.Downey said her parents never received a dime from the lawsuit. They took out loans to purchase a handicapped-accessible van and other equipment for their son.“No disabled person likes to make a big deal of it, but life from a wheelchair is exhausting, mentally and physically,” Shumaker told the Hagerstown Journal in an Oct. 31, 1990, article.The attack, Downey said, reverberated within her family for years, tearing them apart. He was 28.“It was just pure hell until the day Ed died,” Downey said.Now, as Downey read about the man being lauded for his bravery, she thought about the untold pain he had brought to her life.Bennett’s son would not discuss his father’s criminal record.“My dad has never, ever, in his entire life talked to me about that,” he said.

As said here by Lizzie Johnson, William Wan