Therapy: The Liver and the Baboon

The diseased liver poses some of medicine's toughest problems. Surgeons have tried transplantation, but the process is incredibly difficult, and the survival record so far is only 13 months (TIME, Sept. 6). With varying degrees of success, doctors have 1) used massive blood transfusions, 2) passed the patient's blood through an excised but still functioning pig's liver, and 3) even connected a patient's bloodstream with another human's, thus letting the volunteer's liver function for both bodies. But the results have been spotty, at best. Now a team of South African surgeons, including Heart Transplanter Christiaan Barnard, have managed to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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