Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Beauty Treatments Go Futuristic and Not in A Good Way

The stem cell debate is a gray on gray area for many people. Nor is it a debate, as currently framed in the US, on which I feel strongly, because I think each side has a point.

But this is just beyond the pale.

Apparently, there's a new, and entirely unregulated, industry of beauty spas, where stem cells from aborted babies (optimum time period: from six to twelve weeks, abortions are "volitional" of course, though they are remunerated) are used in rejuvenation treatments for people of a certain age and material position. In some cases, the promise is that injecting these stems cells from aborted foetuses can take as much as 10 years off of someone's looks; but the treatments must be repeated yearly.

The promise: The clinic claims that the foetal tissue derived from elective abortions at six to 12 weeks is rich in regenerative stem cells. 'We inject the cells taken from the liver tissue of human foetuses directly into the vein in the back of your hand,' ...

'The results are incredible. You'll feel and look different after a month because these cells help the body to regenerate itself. The effects last for approximately a year before it needs to be "topped up'' '.

...Barnett Suskind, chief executive of IRM, is unapologetic about the treatment he carries out. 'It is the most natural form of healing there is - in ten years, everyone will be doing this,' he says. 'You think better, sleep better, and look better. Your quality of life improves and your libido certainly improves.'

Anyone out there read the sci-fi novels of Lois Bujold? She has an entire renegade planet, known as Jackson's Whole, devoted to the treatment of such "beauty treatments," entirely unregulated of course, and run by medical crime families. Anyone can get any treatment, as long as they pay through the nose for it, including growing clones for replacement body parts, etc.

The industry described in the article I cited above makes such unpleasant aspects of a sci-fi future so much more imminent. Who can doubt such practices will be more widespread in future? It strikes me as practically cannibalistic, but wrapped up in sterile, "scientific" packaging, like buying meat in the supermarket. So you are utterly removed from contemplating the barbarism of what your body is consuming.

UPDATE: Now Drudge has picked up the story. Huh. Usually it goes the other way.


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