by Mae Valencia, IV Accountancy UST
It was summer and the blistering heat outside didn’t stop us, UNIV writers, to crunch our brains and work over our UNIV paper. After reading the keynote speech of Secretary Ona on Stem Cell Therapy, we decided that it would be a good topic to present for UNIV’s 2014 theme, “Cosmos: The Ecology of Man and his Environment.” Our chosen topic discussed about the proliferation of stem cell tourism in Philippine clinics which offer unproven treatment; using claims and anecdotes of patients’ successful therapies as primary advertising inducement to promote this seemingly “effective treatment” but in reality, are not accepted scientific evidence.
As researchers and writers, Charlene and I had to investigate if there were existing guidelines on Stem Cell Therapy by different government institutions. We also researched positions of different medical societies and interviewed practitioners with regards to their stands on the booming stem cell tourism. It was a refreshing experience for an Accountancy student like me to be involved in a medical issue that is prevalent in the environment we live in yet not given enough attention. It was also interesting to delve on this study because it is uncommon to tackle a medical issue in relation to ecology and environment.
According to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, “Ecological conversion must include a recovery of a culture that respects life. Only a society that properly respects the dignity of every human being at every stage of life can properly respect the environment.” Since we cannot be separated from our environment, it is only fitting that we must be aware of the different social issues especially on matters of health. Joining UNIV 2014 as a paper writer made me aware not only of my own environment but it also helped me to reach out to other people by making them informed on issues that confront our values.