If faced with an incurable disease or disability, would you travel overseas for an experimental treatment? Many Australians already go abroad for dental work, cosmetic surgery and IVF services which can be more expensive or unavailable here.
Now, stem cell therapy is increasingly on offer in many countries, including China, Germany and India. Is Australia lagging behind international medical advances—or is this technology too new and unproven to be trusted? What motivates someone to travel abroad to try therapies that haven’t yet been fully tested in the lab? What lessons might be learned from people who travel abroad for reproductive therapies?
This RiAus talk from November 2011 explored the reality and potential for stem cell science, and looked at how long Australians may have to wait.
ABC Radio National’s Norman Swan and a panel of experts—Stephen Couche (Peter Couche Foundation), Simon Koblar (Robinson Institute), Megan Munsie, and Robert Norman (Robinson Institute)— weighed up the pros and cons of travelling abroad for experimental treatments.