Should We Stress a Dying Heart?

January 22, 2022

Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” - Marianne Williamson (b.1952) American author, spiritual leader and political activist.

Talking of forgiveness, it is apt to start with an incidence from the Bible (reproduced specially for non-Christian readers). 

“As he (Jesus) was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left … with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

“No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

A similar story repeated itself earlier this month as narrated by Roni Carlyn Rabin in The New York Times (10/1/22) titled “In a First, Man Receives a Heart from a Genetically Altered Pig” and excerpted here.

A 57-year-old man with life-threatening heart disease has received a heart from a genetically modified pig, a ground-breaking procedure that offers hope to hundreds of thousands of patients with failing organs. It is the first successful transplant of a pig’s heart into a human being. The eight-hour operation took place in Baltimore on January 7, and the patient, David Bennett Sr. of Maryland, was doing well, according to surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

“It creates the pulse, it creates the pressure, it is his heart,” said Dr. Bartley Griffith, the director of the cardiac transplant program at the medical center, who performed the operation. “It’s working and it looks normal. We are thrilled, but we don’t know what tomorrow will bring us. This has never been done before.”

Scientists have worked feverishly to develop pigs whose organs would not be rejected by the human body, research accelerated in the past decade by new gene editing and cloning technologies. Researchers hope procedures like this will usher in a new era in medicine in the future when replacement organs are no longer in short supply for the more than half a million Americans who are waiting for kidneys and other organs.

Mr. Bennett decided to gamble on the experimental treatment because he would have died without a new heart, had exhausted other treatments and was too sick to qualify for a human donor heart, family members and doctors said.

The new heart is functioning and already doing most of the work, and his doctors said he could be taken off the machine on Tuesday (11/1/22). Mr. Bennett is being closely monitored for signs that his body is rejecting the new organ, but the first 48 hours, which are critical, passed without incident.

“It was either die or do this transplant,” Mr. Bennett said before the surgery, according to officials at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice.”

Now comes a twist in the tail (tale). It turns out the pig-heart receiver had criminal background and did not deserve to be saved through a medical miracle. A lot of controversy is afloat on this subject overshadowing the medical miracle involved which is eclipsed. Now the doctors involved have to divert their energy to counter the moralists and defend their choice of subject for their path-breaking achievement. (Mercifully, no heart-rending report has come in the media about the pig heart recipient on the date (21/1/22) of this writing.

To go back to our starting point: what Jesus would have said in the present situation?

The subject is open to many views. What are yours? Your response is welcome in the format given below. (Please scroll down a bit).



Also read:





By John B Monteiro
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Comment on this article

  • John Monteiro, Bondel, Mangaluru

    Mon, Jan 24 2022

    Ambrose Pereira, Bajpe: Sinners, even the self-proclaimed ones, have a right to express themselves, ignoring all the medico-legal personalities. It is better to have your say and shame the devil. Rohan, Mangalore: I am also laughing and so would many readers who keep their reactions under wraps. Mangalorian, Mangalore: In the shadow of international news outbursts, an item about an Assam doctor transplanting pig heart (though unsuccessfully) has surfaced in the media and will eclipse. If the present in US transplant survives, pork-eaters need not worry. The prospective transplant pigs will be specially bred and grown. Daniel, Mangalore: Thank you for your bony response and references to sources which are relevant and enlightening. Pl stay with this column with your comments.

  • Daniel, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 23 2022

    Once heard Fr Dr Jose Vettiyankal's preaching. One priest had several heart blocks. He was advised for a good confession. During confession Fr Jose heard several knuckling sounds. Later when that priest checked medically, Doctors confirmed him that his heart has become completely normal. Priest's public testimony at following link. ///// This man looks like either he has grace of fig's heart or Divine extra grace to repent for his criminal background to a become good person......

  • Mangalurian, Mangaluru

    Sun, Jan 23 2022

    A very interesting topic Mr Monteiro. Thank you. Using pigs for human health has been in discussion for years, but it is very heart-warming that a medical team had the courage to go ahead and put a pig heart into a human. Absolutely amazing stuff. It is already two weeks and I have not read any updates. So, the transplant must have really worked. Hope it does. Wonder how the pig-resistant-religions adherents will consider this future option for health. I imagine a whole new industry will develop of rearing pigs for human health. Although I am a vegetarian, I guess I will accept a pig body part if it comes to choosing between life and death.

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 23 2022

    In the future the dish kaliz ankiti will be very rare as the pig heart is not available and is in demand for some thing else on the lighter side. Can't imagine this situation of animal transplant. We will surely improve our animal instincts and wrestle in dirt. I am laughing.

  • Ambrose Pereira, Bajpe

    Sat, Jan 22 2022

    What Jesus would have said in the present situation? Well; not for us sinners to decide on this, so should not reply!!!!!!!! What are your view? A complex medico-legal issue. Already decided by several well qualified medico legal personalities from all over the world and converted into several laws and oaths. So, works good for me!!!!

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