NYT, Washington Post Slammed For Debating Whether Criminals Should Receive Healthcare

Several legacy media outlets caught some heat on Twitter this week for their coverage of a heart transplant recipient.

David Bennett Sr. was the recipient of a groundbreaking pig heart transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center this week. The medical breakthrough was significant enough to warrant media coverage, but The Washington Post also decided to report on Bennett’s criminal history.

In 1988, Bennett stabbed Edward Shumaker seven times, leaving him confined to a wheelchair. Shumaker had a stroke in 2005 and died two years later, the Post reported.

“More than 106,000 Americans are on the national waiting list for an organ transplant, and 17 people die each day never receiving the organ they need,” the Post’s article about the transplant read. “In the face of such a shortage, it can seem unconscionable to some families that those convicted of violent crimes would be given a lifesaving procedure so many desperately need.”

It went on to explain that most doctors and medical experts disagree, and that criminal history is never a consideration for medical professionals in deciding who can receive care. But the fact that the dilemma was even posed as a legitimate debate by the Post sparked substantial backlash on

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