Halting Cell Research for a Global Profit

June 4, 2012

Who would have thought that the future health of humanity might depend on China? 

Fox News.com reported The Cases For and Against Stem Cell Research, “Opponents of research on embryonic cells, including many religious and anti-abortion groups (in America), contend that embryos are human beings with the same rights and thus entitled to the same protections against abuse as anyone else.… Anti-abortion groups also oppose research on stem cells derived from aborted fetuses.”

Croatian Medical Tourism.com reports, “China (a country that refuses to allow religions to have a say in government affairs) has pushed hard for years to become a world leader in the fields of stem cell research and regenerative medicine.”

And China’s efforts appear to be paying off.

Parent Dish.com reports that James Evans and Hollie McHugh, both 24, saved money for more than a year to send their daughter Isabelle Evans to China for stem cell treatment. Newspaper reports say the results of the treatments were soon worth the pain caused.

World Savvy.org explains why ethical and moral debates in the United States and other countries offered an opportunity for Chinese scientists to possibly come up with cures for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or other diseases in which stem cell therapies are suspected to be effective.

In fact, what started to look like a wild-west circus of stem cell research led to more than 200 hospitals in China offering therapies, some questionable, often to patients desperate and with few or no treatment options available in their home countries. Source: Science Progress.org, 2010

Then in January 2012, Bloomberg.com reported, “China will halt new applications for clinical trials of stem-cell products until July 1 as part of a year-long campaign to regulate the development of the industry, a Ministry of Health spokesman said… A more stringent regulatory system will allow Chinese institutions to sell products overseas…”

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: The revised and edited post first appeared in December 2010.


The Challenge of Rural Health Care in America and China

July 7, 2010

This morning, I read in the AARP Bulletin about small town medicine in the US aptly titled Lonesome Doc.  I learned that 77 million Americans (more than 25% of the population) living in rural areas have 10% of the doctors and that a 2008 study found life expectancies are declining in rural America.  Many doctors will not work in rural America where primary care doctors make about $20,000 a year less than their big-city counterparts.

China has similar challenges with rural health care. In 2009, The Journal of International Relations reported that in China “low-end institutions, particularly the rural township hospitals and community hospitals in the cities are gradually shrinking. More than 87% of rural population was without any health insurance.…When rural low income people need to go to the hospital, 70 to 90% choose self care.”

Then near the end of 2009, China’s central government announced a new five-year plan to improve the quality of life for rural citizens. The New Health Care Bill Facts reported “The (Chinese) government decision to improve healthcare infrastructure in rural areas will result in increasing demand of medical devices and equipment.”

China also recently sent a team to Sweden to learn how chronic diseases are managed there since China, with its ageing population, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of chronic disease cases.”

I wondered what the US was doing to improve rural-health care.  I did read that primary-care doctors coming out of college would have student loans forgiven if they work in rural America. After all, this is America where we trust in the private sector to solve everything as long as the money is there.

See China’s Health Care During Mao’s Time

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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