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. Muhammad Mohiuddin said he faced push back from his family, who practice Islam, over the use of a pig heart in his groundbreaking transplant surgery 

The doctor and his team of surgeons implanted a genetically modified pig heart into the body of man battling terminal heart failure on January 7

He said: ‘I got quite a backlash from my family. “Why are you using this animal?” My father used to always ask me, “Can you at least try using another animal?”‘

Mohiuddin had his own struggles with the decision, due to his faith with forbids pork consumption, but after seeking religious counsel decided to proceed

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‘The final consensus was that there’s nothing greater in the eyes of God than saving the life of a human,’ he said, recalling the response of numerous scholars

The patient, David Bennett, is recovering and doing well; it is still too soon to know if his body will fully accept the organ and the next few weeks will be critical.

The Muslim doctor behind the world’s first-ever pig heart transplant said he faced pushback from his family because he used an organ from an animal that was ‘forbidden in the home.’

‘I got quite a backlash from my family,’ Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, director of cardiac xenotransplantation at the University of Maryland Medical Center, told Vice

‘”Why are you using this animal?” My father used to always ask me, “Can you at least try using another animal?”‘

Mohiuddin, Dr. Bartley P. Griffith – the director of the center’s cardiac transplant program – and a team of surgeons implanted a genetically modified pig heart into the body of David Bennett on January 7. The patient is currently in recovery.

Bennett, 57, had suffered from terminal heart failure and an uncontrollable irregular heartbeat. Due to his condition, he was ineligible for a human heart or pump. He also did not follow his doctors’ orders, missed appointments and stopped taking drugs he was prescribed. 

While many are applauding the surgery, calling it a ‘historic breakthrough’ that some hope could eventually help alleviate shortages of donor organs, Mohiuddin’s family has expressed concern over the use of pigs due to their Muslim faith.

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