The tempest on stem cell treatment

Medical Files By Rafael Castillo M.D. Philippine Daily Inquirer

The stem cell plot thickens, and the controversy on the inappropriate use and gross misuse of this innovative treatment by some practitioners has seemingly reached tilting point.

Whole-page advertisements were published in major dailies stating in strong terms the sentiments and joint position of various medical organizations and subspecialty societies, most of which are under the umbrella of the Philippine Medical Association.

Curiously and ironically, the alliance was obviously against the newly formed stem cell society, the officers of which are composed of past PMA presidents.

The Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine also issued its position statement two weeks ago in its website.

In a keynote speech delivered during the mid-year convention of the Philippine Society of Stem Cell Medicine recently, Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona described the controversy as pitting the supposed medical scientists, the freewheeling practitioners and the regulatory arm of government against each other.


At the end of his speech, Dr. Ona offered what the various groups need to do. The challenge, I believe, among us seemingly competing forces is to sit down and craft a path of consensus, taking in consideration the most fundamental tenet why our profession exists: to save life, to alleviate pain, to do no harm.

We have written about our concerns on stem cell therapy several times in this column (7/14/12; 8/4/12, and 5/24/13). We knew that sooner or later there will be an outrage among legitimate health advocates and concerned medical organizations about the exploitation and inappropriate administration of this innovative but yet experimental treatment.

The therapy is indeed very promising, which, unfortunately, is being exploited by some unscrupulous clinics, even beauty spas and parlors. They offer it to the public, giving everyone the impression that its already tried and tested, charging a hefty sum of money running into millions of pesos for a course of stem cell treatment.

Read more from the original source:
The tempest on stem cell treatment

Related Post