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Xeno: Diabetes, Pigs and People 1x52

For years scientists have claimed they would soon be ready to perform transplants from pigs to humans. But they never seem to get any closer to performing any actual surgery. Meanwhile an ethical, moral and scientific debate has raged among scientists, politicians, religious leaders, animal rights advocates, and environmental groups. As the arguments swirl back and forth, researchers in New Zealand have quietly launched the world’s first xenotransplant trial. Aiming to free diabetic patients from their dependence on daily insulin injections, and reduce the awful side effects of the disease, they have begun implanting pig islet cells into the peritoneal cavities of their patients. Their procedure has been remarkably successful. These doctors managed to wean a patient completely off their daily insulin–the first time this has happened without immune suppression. This film follows one of the first patients to undergo this amazing procedure, against a background of twenty years of dogged research.