The first human cardiac patient to receive a transplanted heart from a brutally slaughtered pig may have died earlier than he otherwise would have from a pig virus, multiple new reports reveal.
The surgeon who performed the controversial, unethical, and inhumane transplant announced the slaughtered pig’s heart was infected with porcine cytomegalovirus (CMV), which likely contributed to David Bennett’s death, MIT Technology Review reported.
Bennett — who died just two months after becoming the first human to receive a transplanted pig heart — was in a weakened state and the pig virus may have been one of several factors that contributed to his death, according to Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, who co-led the University of Maryland’s staff who performed the transplant.
Even prior to this tragic development, research had indicated that transplanting pig hearts into humans would be risky and ineffective. Yet currently, to provide a stock of test subjects, biotech researchers are breeding, cloning and slaughtering pigs to harvest their hearts for transplant experiments.
Researchers’ attempts to overcome the irreconcilable differences in the genetics of pigs and humans hasn’t safeguarded their procedures. Despite the postmortem discovery of CMV, the slaughtered pig had been checked for the virus using all available testing methods, USA Today reported.
The pig’s heart Bennett received also had undergone 10 gene modifications carried out by the biotech company Revivicor in an attempt to counter the human body’s immune system defenses to prevent rejection of hearts from another species, The Guardian reported.
The results from other ghastly experiments also are grim: baboons who received pig heart transplants with CMV only lasted a few weeks, whereas baboons given pigs’ hearts free from infection could only survive for about six months, the Guardian reported.
Pigs are intelligent and sentient animals who are not here to serve as spare parts for humans. If you haven’t yet done so, please sign our petition calling for a stop to the cruel slaughter of pigs for their hearts.
SIGN: Stop Cloning Pigs and Cutting Out Their Hearts for Medical Research