Its important to recognize that the pace of medical discovery is nothing less than amazing. Initially, there was complete ignorance of stem cells. Then there was the birth of stem cell therapy in the 70-80s, limited to cancers of the blood/lymph system and now as with all changes, there initially is a disbelief period followed by experimental and unproven claims and then finally acceptance. Arthur C. Clarke stated it well, New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It cant be done. 2) It probably can be done, but its not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along! We are currently experiencing mild acceptance that stem cell therapy is a medical procedure with potentials. The old school anti-clinical applications groups remain vocal, however they are quickly loosing their impact.
At present the forces of big pharma and regulatory agencies (read the FDA) are dictating your choices, based on the lost revenue models that stem cell therapies may impact, in the US. There is a study suggesting that the stem cell industry will rise to 10% of the current pharmaceutical industrys net revenue in the next 10 years. This represents a 9 Billion dollar challenge to this entrenched big phama, clearly a formable business concern. For those of you interested in the methods of restraint used, read the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 part 1271. The key words are minimal manipulation and those surrounding the definition of a drug. Your cells become a drug with even a smidgen of treatment and require the full testing and 10+ years of development.
Internationally there has been a much more favorable attitude and many of the most important steps forward are made overseas. The predominant attitude of many international governments is that the implosion of the health care industry in the US will lead to an explosion of medical tourism. A recent survey has foreign hospitals clamoring to achieve JCAHO certification, which stands for Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, to assure the public of their quality control. This organization evaluates and certifies hospitals to meet standards and receive Medicare/Medicade funding.
Curiously, many of the tools of the stem cell trade are manufactured in the US. However, the same firms can sell the products domestically if used only for research. They collect a certification statement to this effect, when selling in the US.
Its vitally important that as a consumer of medical services you chose a facility that is unequivocally interested in both an appropriate and well delivered level of services. There are, as with any procedures, risks and benefits. The practice of medicine is both an art and science and requires the correct practitioner, laboratory support and coordination team to provide the highest level of care possible.
This checklist is intended to give you a more precise approach, toward making your medical decisions. Please excuse its length, however a more specific and all encompassing look at this important decision is very significant.
1. There are no guarantees in medicine. The understanding of how the human body functions is still not fully understood. At this time stem cell therapies are not offered as a cure for any disease or a substitute for other forms of care. One of the most potentially misleading approaches to selling medical procedures is the use of anecdotal evidence or personal experiences, regardless of how miraculous they appear. The response of a patient is so individual in nature, without scientific study and collection of data, as to be only a sign of a potential, not proof of a treatments overall effect. ___
2. Does a specific board-certified physician perform the procedures? There are many levels of expertise and only an experienced physician, in the field specific to your disease, should be involved. A board of advisers is helpful and appropriate to have a better opportunity to keep up with the fast pace of medicine, but these individuals are not those administering the actual procedures. ___
3. Are the clinics physicians in compliance with existing medical laws? Although this may seem a strange question, consider the Mexican laws. There they issue a very limited number of licenses, specifically for stem cells, with both allogeneic and autologous limitations. Ask to see a picture of these certifications and check who is listed. Many countries have no regulation and allow any type of physician to perform the procedures. ___
4. Personal experiences with a clinic in regards to their delivery of services, facilities, and personnel should not be relied upon to make a decision for treatment. Its important to feel comfortable, particularly in a foreign country where you will need assistance to navigate and express your needs. At World Stem Cells Clinic we pride ourselves in paving the way toward making your treatments as smooth an experience as possible. Our well-trained team assists you from the start, at the time of contact at the airport, to end of the treatment and with follow-up thereafter. ___
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