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Monday, April 24th 2006

Waiting For A Cure

If I was paralyzed, I would damn sure shell out $20,000, if I had it, and risk life to let some quack in China implant aborted fetus olfactory neurons in my spinal cord…in the off chance it might work. There’s a nice editorial why this man doesn’t.

I have long been skeptical of offshore treatments promising magical results. Most reasonable people would be. But people facing a life confined to a wheelchair, or perhaps the end of their life, are, understandably, not always reasonable. I certainly have moments when I seriously contemplate signing up for Huang’s surgery — usually when I’m considering the toll my paralysis exacts on my parents, or the sheer frustration of being completely dependent on others.

Here are some other reasons why I don’t buy a ticket to China: Receiving the treatment could exclude me from future clinical trials. Clinicians running studies have strict criteria regarding who they can include, so they typically want the purest patient they can find, i.e., one that is “normal,” so they can be sure any results they see are due specifically to their treatment. Having had fetal cells implanted in my spinal cord would not qualify as normal.