Fighting the last war

It\’s always said to be generals that do that, but it appears that politicians do too.

At teh moment we\’re all arguing over presumed consent for the use of organs for transplant. Just as the first transgenic organs from pigs are about to hit the market and, just as doctors finally manage to do something useul with adult stem cells.

Surgeons replaced the damaged windpipe of Claudia Castillo, a 30-year-old mother of two, with one created from stem cells grown in a laboratory at Bristol University.

Because the new windpipe was made from cells taken from Ms Castillo\’s own body, using a process called "tissue engineering", she has not needed powerful drugs to prevent her body rejecting the organ.

Avoiding the use of these drugs means she will not be an increased risk of cancer and other diseases unlike other transplant patients – another significant advance.

Five months after the operation was carried out she is now living normally and is able to look after her children again.

Early days yet, they still need a donated organ to create the structure, but guive them a decade or two and there\’s a good possibility that this whole argument over transplnts will simply go away.

3 comments on “Fighting the last war

  1. It’s exciting news, I agree.

    Please note, however, that this operation still required a donor organ – it’s not as though an entire trachea was grown from her stem cells in the lab. For some reason, some of the news reports aren’t making that clear.

  2. It’s a start. A very good start. Mind you, the tissue engineered pigs will also be interesting once the organs have been tested in humans. I just hope they are treated as a medical device to get the trials done faster.

  3. I have a huge interest in health care, mainly because I am unhealthy. I became unhealthy due to a lack of knowledge concerning two major items in my life, the first concerned the potential for damage by mercury (Hg) and the second concerned the damange caused by Lead (Pb).
    The total failure of the medical profesion to diagnose my illness, which became more serious with the passage of time, sent me searching for information.
    Result. Many good books and much information have taught me that the medical profession is the largest, most corrupt, least competent, most self opinionated, and arrogant group of people anyone could ever wish to come into contact with.
    Consider that, when doctors go on strike less people die. Doctors and Hospitals in the U.K kill 8000 people every year. One in five hospital beds is occupied by a medical ‘accident’. Most of the treatments on offer produce far more trouble (side effects) than they ever cure.
    The ‘cure’ for cancer will never be found. because there is far more profit in ‘treating’ cancer patients than in curing them.
    The chances are that the country as a whole would be in far better health if the whole medical establishment were shut down.
    Oh! don’t bother to conplain if you feel mis-treated, the profession is well versed in evasive tactics. They control / influence the complaints system right up to the level of Ombudsman. No real complaint of substance can get through the system.
    The U.K. health minister once said that “the health service exists for the benefit of the patient” .
    Unfortunately the health service doesn’t agree with those sentiments.
    I sound disgruntled? You know, I think you have a point there………
    Just one other thing. When a doctor says ‘trust me’, that’s the time to ask questions. Never, never trust a doctor.

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