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Consumer Guide To Stem Cell Clinics 40

Posted by timothy
from the and-such-small-portions dept.
Penguinsh- writes "Patients seeking stem cell treatments now have a guide to the various clinics purporting to offer such treatments. Not exactly a Zagat or Michelin, but much more objective information from qualified experts than was available before in one place. Created by the International Society for Stem Cell Research, the guide was the brainchild of a task force convened by former ISSCR President Irving Weissman of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine."
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Consumer Guide To Stem Cell Clinics

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  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Friday July 02, 2010 @03:32AM (#32769774) Homepage Journal

    #1. Don't fucking go to one unless you want to be fleeced and risk death.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately, your consumer guide fails to take into account the fact that many (all?) of these clinics' customers have no alternative except death.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MadKeithV (102058)
        Being terminal might be an excuse for taking additional risks, but most (if not all) of the current "stem cell treatments" are just unfounded snake-oil designed to prey on desperate people, with not a single good reason to believe there is any chance it will make you better rather than worse. They might as well go for homeopathy or faith healing, except that those do NOT carry a risk of actually making things worse.
        • by Cryacin (657549) on Friday July 02, 2010 @05:05AM (#32770210)
          Mate,

          If I had a kid who had a nasty and currently incurable disease, I'd most certainly risk jail, or even death myself to give them a shot. After it gets to the point of death, all bets are off. Seriously. How far would you go for someone you loved?

          In this case, at least it brings some semblence of regulation to an industry that has arisen from an environment born from holier than thou moral beliefs infiltrating politics, rather than hard science.
          • by jonbryce (703250)

            Absolutely, and these snake oil purveyors are just preying on these desperate people.

            There is a good chance that at some point in the future, stem cells will provide the answer, but we are not there yet.

          • The question is: a shot of what?
          • by MadKeithV (102058)

            Mate, If I had a kid who had a nasty and currently incurable disease, I'd most certainly risk jail, or even death myself to give them a shot.

            You want to give them a shot - sure. So give them a real shot, instead of being gullible and quite possibly REDUCING their chances of being cured through a totally bogus and dangerous treatment method.
            With stem cells, we're talking the hastening of the death of your child, not of you going to jail or dying (though depending on how criminal the treatment organization is, this may happen too). Using hyperbole, saying "stem cells might cure your kid" is akin to "being bitten by 210 venomous snakes might cu

            • by priegog (1291820)

              To further your point, I'd like to see ANYWHERE a report of any single clinic that has achieved any percentage (small as it may be) of cures/remissions/prolongued survival than with current MEDICAL treatments.
              If anyone arguing that these clinics are worthwhile can provide this, I'll shut up.
              But the fact of the matter is that NONE exist. As you previously said, these are as bad as homeopathy et-al in the charlatanry side of things, but these guys are playing with real stuff, and the consequences are potentia

            • You want to give them a shot - sure. So give them a real shot

              The parent already proposed the disease is incurable. What real shot are you talking about? While I agree that taking advantage of people's desperation is deplorable, I don't think we should pull the rug out from under them. Give people the opportunity to do their own research. When faced with death, I would like to contact these clinics and get some real facts (with statistics) about the effectiveness of their snake oil. At some point, stem cell treatment will be effective, and I'd be elated if I was

              • by MadKeithV (102058)

                The parent already proposed the disease is incurable. What real shot are you talking about?

                If the disease is really incurable then there is no shot, by definition; not even some pipe dream stem cell treatment. If it is curable, a potential cure with at least some clinical information that it may have a positive effect is better than an unproven, unregulated, dangerous treatment. The existing regulations allow for this: clinical trials.

                I don't think we should pull the rug out from under them

                You are not pulling the rug out from under them; there is currently no rug (in stem cell therapy). That's the tragedy. Stem cell clinics are trying to convince

                • I agree that clinical trials are the best path. The problem I have with that is the time it takes to prove a cure is effective. How many people have to die waiting?
                  I also maintain that people have the right to choose. Hopefully they make an informed choice, but if they understand the risks, they should be allowed their snake oil/thalidomide/radium/stem cells.
                  • If no other treatment exists, then I don't see why people shouldn't be trying it out if they are given all the info and there is at least a half decent basis for thinking it may work. Stem cells do have a lot of power, the trick is using it right I guess.

                • Actually there are stem cell treatments that work (for example, bone marrow transplants). Of course you don't have to go to some special "stem cell clinic" to get those treatments.
              • by vrmlguy (120854)

                People deserve to choose for themselves. Don't tell someone who's terminal (not curable) they can't do something because it may shorten their life

                Yeah, I'm sure that this woman was glad she spent a bunch on money on something that not only shortened her life, but caused her to spend her last 21 months on dialysis.
                http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/06/18/danger-stem-cell-tourists-patient-in-thailand-dies-from-treatment/

                • I'm sure she was happy she had a choice. I'm sure she was unhappy with the consequences of that choice. I'd guess she should have done more research.
          • by vrmlguy (120854)

            So, you'r saying you'd rather give a lot of money to a snake-oil salesman and then not mind becoming too poor to get a real cure for that or another of your kids later.

          • by Lord Kano (13027)

            If I had a kid who had a nasty and currently incurable disease, I'd most certainly risk jail, or even death myself to give them a shot.

            If my daughter was sick, I'd do anything that actually had a chance of working to help her. Going to some shady underground "clinic" and having them inject her with a cocktail of unknown chemicals and a few of her stem cells, is not on the list of possibilities.

            In this case, at least it brings some semblence of regulation to an industry that has arisen from an environment bo

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by worip (1463581)
      The desperate few who may think that this is the option of last resort (terminally ill, insane, etc.) may eventually pave the way for this to become safe and mainstream.
    • Thankfully, your opinion isn't likely to change things. Most people who go to such clinics will have no other options. When I read your comment, all I could think was - what an idiot.
      • by Lord Kano (13027)

        Thankfully, your opinion isn't likely to change things.

        You must own stock in such a "clinic".

        Most people who go to such clinics will have no other options.

        They have the option of doing nothing. Doing nothing won't make the situation worse which these "clinics" almost always do.

        LK

  • Ya' think?

    Given that it doesn't list one clinic.

    Try a 'report' on how to query clinics. etc. And old in some places, at that.
  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Friday July 02, 2010 @03:48AM (#32769862)
    FRY: Stem cells- aren't those controversial?
    PROFESSOR: In your time, yes. Now we have adult stem cells, harvested from healthy adults, whom I killed for their stem cells!
  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Friday July 02, 2010 @04:07AM (#32769970)

    I have some bad mental imagery associated with the phrase "Stem Cell Clinic".

    Every time I hear that term, I think about the scenes in one of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter of Mars" books, where the antagonist is quite literally growing his army in vats, one glob of goo at a time.

    Rooms full of vats, writhing and squirming as unformed body parts start to coalesce. An arm flailing out of the goo...an eye watching you from the corner of a vat, consciousness already apparent in it's solitary gaze.

    For some odd reason, I also associate this mental imagery with what must surely go on in the kitchen of my old elementary school's cafeteria.

  • A count of how many people have actually been saved by their treatments? Oh, wait. That would be the same for all....
  • Consumer Guide To Stem Cell Clinics

    Stem Cells: The Cannibal's Caviar!

  • I always wanted some teeth growing at the base of my spine.

    Seriously, lets exploit some desperate people for basic reseach... sigh.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Life is cheap. Beyond that, the western world has no sense of risk anymore. Ohes noes, an adult that has all the ability to do basic research might be taken advantage of...color me not caring.

      I have a progressive disease that will eventually kill me. I spent a year in the hospital along with rehabilitation that went along with all of this a decade back...I was told I was most likely not going to live as long as I have. I've had two other episodes that required emergency surgery in the last three years. A

  • Some people want the issue of stem cell research to be explored. But exploring an issue like this requires a discussion of the ethics involved. That's good because a free and honest debate can give form to a general consensus. ... Some people want the science of stem cells to be explored. But only science in its truest form can provide useful knowledge, because it does not assign valuations of bad or good. Within science, knowledge of stem cell therapy benefits are valued as highly as knowledge of stem cel

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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