Pig-Heart Boy is the fictional account of Cameron, a thirteen year old boy who takes part in a pioneering operation to receive a pig’s heart. An excellent and thought provoking story by Malorie Blackman (Corgi Books, ISBN 0552551663), it was also made into a TV serial in the UK. As you might guess from the age of the principal character, this resource works best for secondary rather than university students. This is particularly true for the TV version. There are, however, several short sections of the book that could be read out as a scene-setter for any age group. I particularly like the three and a half page section from the start of Chapter 3, where Cameron overhears his parents arguing about the operation (the first he knows about it) to the point where he storms upstairs and declares to himself “How dare they? It was my body. My heart”.
The equivalent section occurs in episode 1 of the TV version (‘The D word’). The text is altered somewhat, but has the advantage that it cuts straight into the family going to visit Professor Rae, the xenotransplantation expert. Hence the 5 minute clip from 14:30 to 19:14 would make a very useful and thought-provoking intro to the topic.