Professional Regulation: A Potentially Valuable Tool in Responding to “Stem Cell Tourism”.

Nov 6, 2014

Authors: Amy Zarzecznyemail, Timothy Caulfield, Ubaka Ogbogu, Peter Bell, Valorie A. Crooks, Kalina Kamenova, Zubin Master, Christen Rachul, Jeremy Snyder, Maeghan Toews, Sonja Zoeller.

From Stem Cell Reports Volume 3, Issue 3, Pages 379-384
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.06.016

The growing international market for unproven stem cell-based interventions advertised on a direct-to-consumer basis over the internet (“stem cell tourism”) is a source of concern because of the risks it presents to patients as well as their supporters, domestic health care systems, and the stem cell research field. Emerging responses such as public and health provider-focused education and national regulatory efforts are encouraging, but the market continues to grow. Physicians play a number of roles in the stem cell tourism market and, in many jurisdictions, are members of a regulated profession. In this article, we consider the use of professional regulation to address physician involvement in stem cell tourism. Although it is not without its limitations, professional regulation is a potentially valuable tool that can be employed in response to problematic types of physician involvement in the stem cell tourism market.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).