Categorized | National News

Potential For Stem Cell Abuse Enormous, Bethel

Without clear guidelines, effective monitoring, oversight and enforcement the potential for abuse in the harvesting and use of embryonic stem cells “is enormous,” a former health minister has warned.

Last week, Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez appointed a national task force to produce recommendations for the regulation of stem cell therapy.

Dr. Gomez said the medical procedure, once fully implemented, could enhance medical tourism.

Internationally, medical tourism accounts for $70 billion per year.
Dr. Marcus Bethel, who under the former Christie administration, put a stop to stem cell procedures at the Immuno-Augmentative Therapy clinic in Freeport because it had not secured the necessary approvals to engage in such research, yesterday called the launch of the task force “welcome and necessary.”
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to renew themselves and to differentiate into various cell types, such as nerve cells, blood and muscle.
“Stem cell therapy is a constantly evolving research tool that involves the harvesting of pluri-potential cells (stem cells) and the planting of those cells in the human body to regenerate damaged tissues, organs or body parts,” Dr. Bethel said.

“The current status of research and preliminary results reveal that this mode of therapy holds great promise for the treatment of many diseases and maladies that afflict human beings. However, there are moral and ethical concerns that must be addressed as the technical challenges of research progress.”

Dr. Bethel continued, “The ethical issues revolve around the use of embryonic stem cells, which are cells derived from human embryos or aborted fetal tissues including placenta.”

The former health minister noted that there is general acceptance of the use of adult stem cells for therapeutic purposes.

He urged the committee to consult widely, remain sensitive to and respectful of the moral and ethical issues of our community and adopt universal best practices.

Dr. Bethel said scientific research and its application must be conducted in an environment that respects the value and sanctity of human life universally.

Written by Jones Bahamas

One Response to “Potential For Stem Cell Abuse Enormous, Bethel”

  1. selahlee says:

    I concur 100% with Dr. Bethel’s caution and warning re. both the social, moral, ethical and spiritual implications of implementing stem cell “healing centers” in the Bahamas. What next? Will Dr. Gomez soon push to earn “tourist dollars” by promoting the Bahama as an abortion on demand haven? His recent published nonchalant attitude toward this “baby killing” activity would seem to leave room for this to happen. After all, as noted by Dr.Bethel. a major source for stem cells is the fetuses of unborn children.

    If this is one current social issue genuine Christians should become totally informed about and involved in, it is this one.

    I applaud Dr. Bethel for his stand.



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