Stem cell, I’d just have to remind myself, that’s normally from aborted fetuses, isn’t it?
It has been, yeah. There are other ways of harvesting cells.
There are other ways of harvesting it now?
I’ve heard something about that, that you can harvest your own stem cells now, I hear.
Yeah, and I think they can take it from cord, umbilical cord blood.
Yes, yeah, I’ve, I’ve heard about that, yes. So, so no, it’s...
Generally speaking I’m of the belief that a body’s a shell and the - if one wants to look at it from a spiritualist point of view - the body and the spirit, although they share the same platform for a while, after the body’s died, I mean, whether that be a baby, which is very sad, or a fetus, then there is, you know, to a point, “Why waste it?” you know. The material is very hard to come by, to a point, and it’s, it has unique properties. And, you know, I’m generally an advocate for using these things. The problem is that, if we’re looking on a worldwide level, is that the, what we do in the first and second worlds are relatively well controlled -I use the term ‘relatively’ deliberately - by good, quite strong ethical committees and information governance and governing committees. And they do the best we can do, with our current knowledge -I will put that caveat in - to balance the risk, the pain or other un-, yet unknown side effects of using this. And that’s the best we can do. We can’t do any more than that.
We can’t try and protect against things we don’t yet know about. I mean, we may look back in twenty years and say, “That was criminal, doing that.” But there again we also look back a hundred years now and say, “How did they do those kind of things?” Like the, there’s the famous one about disease. When was it? 1800 and something or another. There were two units in Vienna for birthing children, and one was run by midwives, one was run by doctors. And the mortality rate in the one run by doctors was, I think the figures are roughly right, was about 20 per cent, 25 per cent, and the one run by midwives was down around the 1 or 2 per cent. And that went on for years, I mean that went on for five or ten years. And eventually somebody worked out what it was, that it was actually contamination on the hands. Because the doctors were doing their research they had - I mean, it sounds terrible this day and age - round in the other theatre they were doing the autopsies, trying to understand why people died, and then they would come round to the mothers’ side and help with the births. It just seems so obvious now, but they didn’t know that disease was carried by what was on your hands. Because they didn’t, they thought it was either airborne, so they closed the rooms off, or it was - you know, they did, just didn’t know the mechanism for transmission.
No. A bit like the cholera kind of outbreaks --
Yes, the cholera one, yes.
-- and tracing it to the well and --
-- and all of that. Or was it typhoid? I can’t remember. Yes.
One of the two, wasn’t it? But it’s the same thing. Until you know. You go, “Well, that’s obvious.” But it’s only obvious in hindsight.