In the past I’ve pointed to society’s reluctance to accept emerging medical technology that might tinker with the stuff that defines our basic biological makeup – our DNA.
Back in the 90’s then-president Clinton put a ban on stem cell research using cell lines derived from human and fetuses. The argument was that it might promote pregnancies for cell production not babies. That their might arise a business that could prey on the financially strapped women in society to give up fetuses much as blood donors sell their blood. Oh, and the whole fetuses are babies played a part as well because it doesn’t matter how arcane and out of date your beliefs might be – you still have a vote. And politicians are very conscious of that.
While the amendment did not specify placentas the controversial nature of the technology brought a lot of things into discussion and many non-technical people don’t recognize the difference, politicians and voters among them. The controversy still exists.
Now we’re fighting COVID-19. Many people are dying. Economies are crumbling. A vaccine is a year or more away by best estimate.
Then there’s this: “Israeli COVID-19 treatment shows 100% survival rate – preliminary data”
100% Survival (in 6 out of 6 test patients)
That’s Great! The USA which now has the worst infection crisis in the world must be really happy, right?
Maybe. We’ll see.
Will it become available in the USA if it actually works?
Will Americans take it if it becomes available?
Why in the world would he ask that question you’re wondering. Of course they will.
Well if they stand by their convictions a whole bunch of the conservative, anti-abortion, religions people will find themselves in a quandary because this treatment is derived from STEM cells taken from placentas.
Will they take it?
If their loved ones have taken sick and this is offered as an option will they reject it based on principles?
Will they take it and then go ahead and still vote for the same short-sighed politicians pandering to their base with lies and fear? (of course you might think I’m talking about the GOP . . . but politicians of all stripes will go there)
Will Trump allow it?
He professes to love Israel but also backs the right-to-life movement back home. He’ll probably say its okay because it was placentas and not fetuses – an argument I expect a lot will use on themselves.
The company, Pluristem, was allowed to try this out because there is a compassionate use out in the healthcare laws in Israel. If the patients are looking like they will die anyway then there is a use case. Here is a link to the PDF of their press release on this.
It’s not a vaccine – it won’t keep you from catching the disease. But if you get sick with it this can keep you from dying. I hope this works out and people can get an effective treatment for when they get the disease. To keep them from dying.