Maybe the folks who continue to argue against stem cell research are just afraid their own stem cells could beat them at a game of checkers.

Listen, I want to live forever. Not like in the song “Fame,” but like in the way that most of us would do anything to live. Or like the guy who had to leave the country to get life-saving treatment for cancer of the trachea. Now he is alive when everyone thought he wouldn’t be. It’s a treatment he couldn’t get in the States. In the States, stem cell benefits are masked by misinformation and fear.

Okay, so I had a metabolic disease that threw me into a coma and nearly killed me a few times. But here I am to talk about it. I think about it every blessed day and I find myself grateful to this universal intelligence. Yes, I am a theist. But I still live in a personal world where I would do anything to live.

Believe me, this is more than a Dylan Thomas “do not go gentle into that good night” kind of thing. I don’t want that good night, or a bad night, or any kind of night. Even knowledgeable scientists — who generally aren’t “futurists” – struggle with this concept.

So this guy got a new trachea from stem cells at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. It seems the folks at Krolinska are fearless. When I was working with a lot of transgender patients, I kept finding their research work on hormones and pheromones and sexuality and such.

What I haven’t found are any photo-ops of their leaders sitting in church. Honestly, America has got to be the most religious country in the world — or is at least acting like it is.

Actually, I still think there is some kind of a cloud of belief that stem cells have to come from dead or aborted babies and America will go to the devil or something. Rubbish, of course.

Stem cells work and they work fine. That certainly does not mean they always work for everything, but there is something there. I once knew an older scientist who had sneaked out of many eastern European countries. He’d used transplanted stem cells to replace pancreases for folks who had blown theirs with diabetes. He had a conservative, almost self-deprecating account of millions of people in countries I could barely pronounce — “behind the iron curtain,” they used to say in my childhood — which he swore on the head of his dead mother he had tried to present to the FDA. He said they’d insisted on reviewing what he had done as a medication and not as a transplant procedure. He knew this meant it would never be approved. I actually communicated by email with a person in Scandinavia who had a unique kind of pancreatic cell transplant using some kind of micro-sphere that antibodies could not enter to incapacitate fresh pancreatic cells. I figure I’ve got a pretty weak pancreas, but it seems to be strong enough to take really good care of my smaller and healthier body.

I want to live forever. And I think I can do this in time.

Physical and biological immortality ought to be possible in about 20 years or so. I am reasonably sure I’ve got that much left in me. This is what I’m saving my money for – it’s not for clothes nor houses. I do my shopping in thrift shops and buy discounted goods. In a way, I guess you could say I have already started on my replacement parts. I wear eyeglasses, although I need them less with all my vitamins and such. My hair — well let’s just say I play with it. And I’ve got a mouth full of magnificent implants.

I may check out the Karolinska someday. It has always intrigued me what open scientific thought would be like. I remember when an elder statesman of medicine told me I needed to remain an American academic in order to have free scientific thought. I do not know whether this former dean of the medical school in a Midwestern state was just deluding himself, or if he really thought that to be true.

The medical research he had been involved in is now very dependent upon paid clinical trials for its survival money – such as paid clinical trials of new prescription drugs. Surely, that is not free thought.

Internationally, of course, there is good and bad medicine. Mexico is nearby. I am not crazy about Mexican medicine, or “live” stem cells that are byproducts of slaughter houses. I do know that it is perfectly legal in the land of mariachi dancing to import German stem cells and have them “injected.”

This guy Kiel seems to be at the forefront and his university seems to be in the CV of anybody who works with stem cells. No living human cells. No living animal cells. Even the antivivisectionists have nothing to complain about. Regenerative medicine for all!

My husband knows who to contact if my pancreas looks as if it is going to give out before I do. I will have to leave America — that is for sure.

I love America, but there is no doubt in my mind that we are not the best in medicine. I cannot see a reason other than her misguided religious politics. I think that is why I will have to leave for a bit if my pancreas goes. As will anyone who wants to live as long as they can and get spare parts as needed.

Someone will have to open their brain. Just like Clarence Darrow and the Scopes Trial, there is no contradiction between religion and science. Unless, of course, you look very hard and decide you want to be angry.

I am far from unique in believing in some kind of “universal intelligence.” Most scientists I have known also believe in such things. The truth is only revealed to those who have the guts and the brains to look for it – and who are willing to learn.

America does not seem to be willing to discover truth.

I want to live forever and it is not a bad thing. But it will not be possible in America, where our health care is dominated by overwhelming financial concerns instead of humanistic ones. A faith of simplicity has been popularized to masses with no respect for intellect or thought — and it is being used to manipulate simple people.

America, we can do better.

Author's Bio: 

Estelle Goldstein,MD has studied in Europe and Canada as well as the USA. She has attended specialty training beyond medical school in the fields of general surgery, neurology and neurosurgery and psychiatry (specializing in psychopharmacology).

She currently has her own indepenent clinic in San Diego where she is concentrating on what she calls Mind/Body medicine — or Integrative Medicine. Her practice is cash-only, doesn’t accept insurance or government payments, and she operates on the concierge, or “private doctor” practice model to give her patients the absolute best quality of care and the highest level of confidentiality.

Dr. Goldstein’s philosophy is “Whatever It Takes!” Her goal is to do everything possible to solve whatever problem she is presented. This includes seeing patients as quickly as possible — not making them wait weeks for an appointment. This includes making appointments days, nights, weekends or holidays. This includes making house-calls. And it includes using the best, most innovative treatments available — most of which are unknown to standard, mainstream doctors.

Her focus is on transitioning patients away from prescription drugs and onto natural substances. She is also a master practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique, a powerful and dynamic form of energy psychology that usually brings quicker results than traditional psychotherapy.

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