Sleight of Hand

An ex-con cons his way into getting a new limb

It's not exactly standard medical practice to call up a patient's rap sheet before prepping him for surgery, so you can hardly blame the doctors. Besides, a criminal past is no reason to deny someone medical treatment--even a treatment that is purely experimental and has nothing to do with saving lives.

Still, surgeons who perform radical, headline-grabbing operations know the value of good publicity. So it was something of a shock to an international team poised to perform the world's first successful hand transplant to discover that they had chosen a man with a record as long, so to speak, as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!