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Texas Board May Disallow Stem Cell Treatment

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Stem cell research has been seen by biochemists as holding potential for extending life, for curing a multitude of diseases, and as a breakthrough development in fusing spinal cords that have been traumatized, extending even to a cure for paralysis. Stem cell research has focused on the morally questionable harvesting of cells from aborted fetuses, the use of umbilical cord stem cells, and finally, the no-longer-controversial use of donor cells from the individual undergoing the treatment.

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells. Since they have not developed specifically into any differentiated (specific) cell type (kidney cells, heart cells, liver cells, cells within the nervous system, and so on), they can become new, young and growing cells wherever in the body they are needed. These cells could make a dramatic difference to human life in the future. Optimists suggest that (barring accidents) a person might live forever. The common cold could be easily cured. Diseases seen as being treatable by the application of stem cell therapy include cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and a wide range of other impairments. Less optimistic speculators see a risk for new cancers, and currently a risk for blood clots.

In late June of 2011 Texas Governor Rick Perry, according to reports available today, was able to utilize stem cells taken from his fat, grown in a laboratory, and returned to him in the hopes of achieving enhanced spinal fusion. The Governor and presidential candidate has had spinal problems, and wears a brace. In spite of ongoing experimentation with this type of treatment, the usage hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Indeed, the Texas Medical board is now meeting to determine whether this procedure will be allowable in the state in the foreseeable future. Specifically, Texas Medical Board members will discuss the need for an independent review committee. Perry referred to the “revolutionary potential” of this stem cell research in addressing the 19-member board, of which he himself appointed every member.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • Baronius

    Not sure what the story is.

  • John Lake

    Go ahead and read it, Baronius. It aroused my curiosity, partially because it hasn’t received much mention in the media.
    Modern politicians have ties with manufacturing, or insurance and banks, health care… There has been some earlier criticism of Perry regarding the health care industry.

  • John Lake

    Here’s a more substantial article, including information as to the South Korean laboratory whose Texas branch provided some of the services.

    “The stem cells were isolated from Perry’s own fat, obtained via liposuction. The Texas Tribune reports that Perry’s cells were “cultured” in a Texas laboratory that is a branch of South Korea’s RNL BIO. Jones told the Texas Tribune that he’d gone to Japan to receive RNL BIO stem cells for his own arthritis, and that he was “effectively cured.”

    “RNL BIO is run by veterinarian Ra Jeong Chan DVM, PhD. In 2009, RNL claimed to have cloned puppies from stem cells. The firm runs a number of stem-cell clinics in China and elsewhere, including an anti-aging clinic in Mexico. It says it has completed a phase 1 clinical trial of Astrostem, a fat-cell-derived stem-cell treatment for spinal injury. No results have yet been reported in the medical literature.”

  • Baronius

    Are you implying there were some financial misdeeds? I forgot that you do that a lot without evidence. It sounds like an issue of federal vs. state jurisdiction, and experimental vs. established procedures.

  • I’m with Baronius in that I also can’t see what the issue is here, other than that Texas, as usual, seems intent on throwing the baby (no pun intended) out with the bathwater.

    Adult stem cell therapies such as the one Perry underwent are almost entirely uncontroversial, other than from a purely medical standpoint where there is significant doubt as to their efficacy.

    If we’re trying to call Perry hypocritical on this issue, we really don’t have a leg to stand on.

  • John Lake

    Inas the stem cell therapies haven’t been approved, it seems odd that someone in the U.S. should be able to benefit. On the other hand, some articles give one the impression that they are daily occurrences. Its not certain that states have the express consent of the Federal government to employ these experimental procedures. I don’t see any case for “hypocrisy.”
    In any case, the subject caught my attention, and perhaps at some later date it will all come together.

  • I can’t understand their decision which seems very backward, but that seems to happen in Cowboy country, doesn’t?

  • Cannonshop

    I kind of have to wonder if it wouldn’t be better to let Texans make their own mistakes, certainly it will prove beneficial to surrounding states that DON’T have that board-like New Mexico. Texas money going to New Mexican doctors just seems…right, somehow.

  • John Lake

    The issue of states’ rights, the advancement of statist power, the decline of the authority of the U.S. federal government is the crucial issue. It is a sad comment on twenty-first century America that many, nearly perhaps all, of our federal politicians, and in now seems the highest levels of the judiciary, are subjugated by various powerful corporations, or corporate groups. To those watching the televised debates of candidates for the 2012 Presidency, it seems obvious. There is an agreement between all on stage that government regulation of industries and financial systems should be reduced. They carry on as if these regulations were capricious and arbitrary. They never concede any rational purpose behind the regulation.
    Many of the candidates, notably Cain, and Gingrich agree that our medical community is for the most part above reproach. Let the Doctors and the patients decide on tests, procedures, and referrals. They would do away with all regulation and oversight, trusting the medicos completely. They balance that position with declarations that there are, “out there”, unscrupulous dentists billing the government for 99 procedures each day which these dentists do not preform. The candidates display shock and gall that the American president allows this trangressive behavior.
    Today’s candidates struggle to give the impression to a Michigan audience that the carmakers are important and need sustaining, while at the same time they demand an end to all bailouts, and the ouster of the president who authorized such bailouts.
    So, when these subsided politicians tell us that the road to prosperity is to give the authority to states, they are a hard group to trust. Most Americans have no idea what is going on in state government. In many states, prisons are filled with former governors. We find the day to day workings of the federal congress boring. How much more boring would be to have to keep tabs on the shady goings on in 50 state governments.
    If a politician tells me that the states should have greatly increased authority, or that regulation should be abandoned, I can only conclude he has an agenda that he’d rather not reveal.

  • Cannonshop

    #9 John, you miss the core concept a bit there- “We” wouldn’t HAVE to monitor all 50 states-the idea is that you can better keep tabs on the politicians closest to you-which is your city, county, and state pols. Remember that all politics IS local, and localities can, and routinely do, generate some of the most hideous laws both in terms of inability to enforce, and in terms of idiocy of enforcement. Blue laws, “Dry” counties, etc. etc. exist, as does local corruption…

    But, so does FEDERAL corruption, and that’s a much harder knot to chew apart, both because of the power levels and resources involved, and the ‘deniability’ involved-it’s harder to prove, and the distance of D.C. from the lives of most people make corruption more of a spectator event, than something that the average american feels must be immediately addressed (witness the idiocy that was the Whitewater investigation and subsequent impeachment, or Watergate.)

    The fact is, the focus on Federal doings has been a ‘free pass’ for local and state corruption, and the extent of public ignorance is no lesser on the functions of the federal branches, than it is on the content of most state-level elections. Concentrating further power in D.C. isn’t going to address, fix, or even slightly impact the PROBLEM beyond making it easier to hide.

    It’s better to let States be stupid right up to the edge of what the Federal constitution allows-this makes a lot of the country “irregular”, but it always was. By allowing the country to BE irregular, people can vote with their feet, if other means fail them. Eventually, the winning combination will turn up, in terms of local prosperity, quality of life, economic strength, etc. etc.

    While the FAILURES can serve as warning examples of what NOT to do.

    Having seen it, for instance, I would NEVER choose to live in the stinking hellpit that is most of the Deep South-but I would entreat upon you that that place IS a stinking hellpit because of the people who choose to be there, and it’s their choice, and who are we, really, to say that they are wrong for choosing a lifestyle that is at its best tawdry and repellent, and at worse virulently closed-minded, theocratic, and racist?

    People can always choose to change things where they are, or move-when you take those options away, you lose the ability to grow into something better.

  • John Lake

    You arouse my nostalgia with the mention of the “Watergate” matter. It held the attention of the American people, and provided insight into the thinking of then president Nixon. Ironically it has come to light that some of the notorious erasures on some oval office tape recordings had they been released would have had a positive impact on Nixon activities; he occasionally went out to the grounds to speak directly to demonstrators. But this placed his well being in jeopardy, and so was a matter for secrecy.
    You mention the “stinking hell pit” in some of the deep south. Who could aid those folks beyond the federal government?
    In studying local politics, we see a picture of townspeople forming together at city halls or libraries. This is far from the truth. State government is as distant to a CNN watcher as is the activity in Washington.

  • John Lake

    #12 is an exhaustive report on the stem cell treatment that Texan Governor Perry underwent. We wonder if Dr. D. A. Leatherman is involved or caught up in Perry’s political ambition.