February 23, 2012

soap box

     I deliberately stay away from politics on this blog, which is kinda hard given how involved politics has become in medicine.  But as I skimmed over the news the other day, I couldn't help but get more than a little angry at some politicians, who shall remain nameless, commenting, quite authoritatively and definitively I might add, about scientific and health matters upon which they were completely ignorant.  Their facts were not facts.  They were beliefs made up out of misconceptions about the way the world should or should not work.  They need to speak to some actual doctors and scientists because we crossed that unholy Frankenstein bridge a llloooonnnnggggg time ago.
     Don't believe me?  Just look at the stem cell protocol upon which my dad is about to imbark.  By my count here's the chimeric monster they've created:
  1. An agent which is synthesized and is half mouse, half human.
  2. A derivative of the horrific mustard gas which slaughtered countless men in World War I.
  3. An agent which is collected from either a rat or horse.
  4. An agent synthesized completely artifically in a lab.
  5. An agent derived from a lowly bacterium in the soil.
  6. A mimic of an essential B vitamin.
  7. A peptide cloned from some human which was then inserted into the bacterium E. coli which then pumps it out to use in other humans.
  8. Blood from one human being pumped into another.  How very vampire-like!
  9. And last, but definitely not least, stem cells from one living human harvested and given to another.  The recipient no longer has his own blood!
Prometheus would be proud.  One hundred years ago, these things would be considered an abomination to either man or God.  And they'll be received in this instance, graciously and without any ethical reservations I might add, by a retired minister (how's that for irony).  Now they're used commonly.  MD Anderson alone hopes to complete its 50,000th stem cell transplant in the next couple of years.  And so I would love to have those politicians speak to my dad, or any of the other thousands of living patients who benefited from these technologies.  Are they wrong to receive it?

1 comment:

maorlando said...

Amen and Amen... you tell them Issac... this is Mrs. Orlando (Toni's mom) and I have had non-Hodgkins Lymphoma 3 times and PTL new break-throughs in medicine is exactly why I am still here a "survivor"... praying for your dad.. give your mom a hug for me... thanks for all you do.. I am so very proud of you!!!!
Angela Orlando... Mrs. "O"