Probe on stem cell treatments sought

MANILA -- A Visayan lawmaker sought a congressional inquiry Saturday parallel to the investigation conducted by medical groups on the stem cell treatments done in the country.

Malacaang earlier warned the public against stem cell therapy following the recent incident involving a lawmaker who undergone the treatment but has experienced other health problems.

Western Samar Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento sought for the inquiry following the deaths of two lawmakers which are linked to complications brought by the treatment.

The late Bohol Representative Erico Aumentado and Pedro Romualdo of Camiguin supposedly died after undergoing the stem cell treatment overseas

"I will definitely ask for a congressional inquiry, parallel to any other investigations by government agencies and independent medical groups. This concerns public safety. I am also concerned about reports of stem cell treatments being done in the country," Sarmiento said.

It was reported that the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) and the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine (PSSCM) is conducting an investigation as to the circumstances of the death of three politicians who went to Germany for the treatment.

Dr. Leo Olarte, PMA's president and PSSCM's spokesperson refused to name the politicians pending the result of the investigation.

The PMA and the PSSCM had also warned Filipinos about the safety of the treatment being done by German doctors in five-star hotels for P1 million using xenogenic or animal-based stem cell therapy.

"This is definitely a very anomalous situation which the DOH (Department of Health) should seriously look into considering the health hazards it could inflict on public safety and health. Congress, in consultation with all concerned government agencies and private entities, should act promptly," Sarmiento said.

Sarmiento said the government should come out with a national policy on the medical issue.

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Probe on stem cell treatments sought

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