Contributed by: Don WinnerBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Recently I've been trying to learn more about the use of adult stem cells to treat diseases currently considered to be incurable in the Republic of Panama. A few weeks ago health authorities in Costa Rica shut down a clinic that was offering these "treatments" and the same company has an operation here in Panama. The use of adult stem cells to treat anything remains highly controversial - primarily among scientists and doctors who argue among themselves as to whether or not it works - and that controversy spills into Panama with the presence of this company. Hundreds if not thousands of people are paying millions if not billions of dollars every year to travel to places like Panama, Bangkok, and the Dominican Republic to get "treatments" that no other doctor in the world would dare perform. The obvious question is - Do these treatments work or is this quack medicine and are these people being ripped off?
Please Read This Article: Someone posted a link to the following article this morning, which is thus far the most fair and balanced approach I've seen yet: Stem-Cell Tourism: Adventures at the Fringes of Experimental Medicine. I'm still learning more about this and of course there is no "right answer" as the science continues to advance and the technology leads to new discoveries. On a personal note - scam artists simply piss me off. Most of this article is dedicated to one doctor who is performing these procedures in the Dominican Republic. However I'm drawn to the various paragraphs from the other side of the story, which say:
Warning - Proceed At Your Own Risk: Who the hell am I to judge? The patients in the article are fully grown adults who are going into these procedures fully informed as to the risks, and the possibility that they just might be throwing their money away. However, what if you have the money and are dying of an incurable disease anyway? What good is the money going to do if you're dead? That's the choice these people are facing. So, is it quackery or cutting edge science? "Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science." He was also tried by the Inquisition, forced to recant his scientific publications, convicted as a heretic, and sentenced to house arrest for the remainder of this life. I only hope the desperate people who are faced with these life and death decisions with regards to adult stem cell "treatments" and "therapies" do so with their eyes wide open, fully informed, and prepared to live with the consequences of their decisions, whatever they may be. These "treatments" are happening here in Panama so it's a relevant topic of discussion for this website. More to come, still working...
Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.