Stem cell tourism is when folks travel to a different country to get treatments unavailable to them in the home. It is chiefly because most stem cell remedies are unproven and not easily available from reputable local health care services.
Most Australians traveling overseas for frequently ill-defined treatments for a variety of conditions, such as spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis. If internet marketing and information reports are to be considered, stem cell tourism is a booming industry.
ABC’s Stem Cell Highway, focusing as it does on the adventures of 2 distressed sufferers, is a familiar narrative of individual quests to discover cures at the face of great obstacles.
It exemplifies how folks submit themselves into often-costly remedies without completely understanding their effects, including families that bear the burden of the problem, treatments and spent hope.
However, what do patients understand about the treatments they get? What exactly are they informed they are purchasing. Do promise, faith and expect trump reason and proof when the only other available alternative is doing nothing.
Religion and wonder would be the operative words. Stem cell tourism is ongoing due to a religious like belief in the promise of their regenerative abilities of stem cells.
While lots of trials for stem cell treatments are still underway, the majority of them are in the very early phases of translation, and concentrated on security.
Lots of the remedies sold are to reveal clinical effectiveness. Oftentimes, it’s unknown if they are safe. Few suppliers of these remedies have released their work in scientific journals.
Given that the fantastic optimism about stem cells as well as the paucity of real remedies, lots of scientists, clinicians and physicians are worried that suppliers are harnessing patients’ hopes and vulnerabilities.
They dread folks are submitting themselves to remedies that might lead to great financial and personal risk, which may ultimately hurt science itself. These fears aren’t unfounded since a lot of men and women are undertaking these remedies occasionally, a set of remedies at significant personal price.
Policy answers have a tendency to frame the issue in relation to cavalier doctors using regulatory loopholes to exploit dire sufferers hopes. This fails to comprehend the complexity of the problems and the context in which the stem cell therapy marketplace works.
It is too simple to blame unscrupulous suppliers and lax regulation whilst overlooking other elements underpinning the marketplace.
Hunting The Silver Bullet
We have analyzed patients encounters and therapy travels in light of the dynamics of this worldwide stem cell tourism marketplace and the political economy of trust.
Our work indicates the sector is sustained by several things such as the growth of internet direct to consumer marketing, deregulatory policies, government endorsed medical tourism, and widespread optimism connected to the claims of new medical technology.
Such feedbacks insures everyone from researchers and patient advocates searching for treatments for currently incurable ailments authorities searching for ways to satisfy the expanding health needs of an aging population and suppliers who recognise the company chance of having the ability to serve this requirement.
The basic question is if the science could deliver on the promise are stem cells a silver bullet. Stem cell tourism is a intricate business and takes a sophisticated comprehension of the science in addition to the factors influencing human behavior.
Television shows could play a part in educating the general public about a number of those challenges posed by the business and also make for intriguing stories. But instead than deepen our understanding of the problem, they arguably run the danger of fostering the marketplace of trust.