Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"I will make you walk again."

Dr. Hwang promised a young paralyzed boy that his stem-cell research would cure him.
Nine-year-old Kim Hyeoni had been hit by a car while crossing the street the previous year. Once a chubby-cheeked child who loved baseball and practical jokes, he now was paralysed from the neck down.

'Sir, will I be able to stand up and walk again?' he asked the leader of the team, a South Korean veterinarian named Hwang Woo-suk, according to his father.

'I will make you walk. I promise,' replied Dr Hwang, who would shortly announce a breakthrough in the cloning of human stem cells...

The boy gave three skin samples taken under local anesthesia. His case appeared in a now-discredited paper published last May in the U.S.-based Science magazine in which Hwang claimed to have produced genetically matching stem cell lines from 11 patients...
"Now the family is faced with the sinking realisation that 'it was all a big lie', said the boy's father, Kim Je Eon.

Dr Hwang fabricated evidence for all of his cloning research, according to a report released yesterday by a Seoul National University panel investigating his work. In his string of splashy papers, his one legitimate claim was to have cloned the dog he named Snuppy, the panel said..."


The family has told the boy that he will walk again, but that he "might have to wait a little longer."

2 Comments:

Blogger Fallen Angels said...

This is just sad. I am a firm believer that one should never make a promise that you can't (or are not certain you can) keep.

Sera

2:42 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

It makes me think of a few fellow bipolars I know who have been hooked by an osteopath who promises to cure their disease by "cleansing their blood". The tragedy is that those in mania are ripe for exploitation and may pay out thousands of dollars before they have realized that they have been had.

8:21 PM  

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