Medical research: between progress and speculation

Call for articles IFMSA

(IFMSA, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Federica Ilaria Ardizzone, medical student from Italy, currently attending her master’s degree in one cycle in Medicine and Surgery. She is also affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Modern medical science has definitely made great strides in recent years, thanks to the medicine’s fathers. Among superstitions, frauds and quackery medical science has had to fight hard to succeed and eradicate the weeds that for centuries have undermined (and often still undermine) the people’s health.

There is a gap between who is leading scientific research and those who is lagging behind or that tries in every way to hinder it for personal interests and for purely speculative purposes.

Unfortunately, the step between knowing a disease and develop an effective treatment is neither immediate nor automatic, even though medical research is becoming more and more efficient. Reduce development time for a treatment is essential, both because it allows to save more lives and because it prevents charlatans to creep in these knowledge gaps.

In fact, the absence of an effective immediate treatment leads sufferers to rely on risky methods to health without any positive result. Just think of the Stamina’s case, in which a university professor of literature and philosophy decided to give life to a company of research and development of biotechnology in order to treat patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, promising miracles and total healing.

It started with a neurological examination, then passed to a first intervention for the levy of bone marrow cells, these were then cultured in accordance with mysterious procedures and finally the patients were subjected to lumbar injection to enter into the circulation and in the system nervous the “cocktail” of stem cells.

The treatment required very steep prices. In addition, snapped the first alarm in patients who underwent the treatment, which showed a distinct change and even went out to meet death. At the same time, the National Health System was unaware of all this.

And we still remember the services about alkaline diet to treat cancer and the many articles about vaccines that cause autism.
Even today, the scientific misinformation in the medical field is rampant and there is a lot of confusion among the public without adequate scientific basis.
Charlatans, those who try to speculate on the suffering of others, those who are misusing the right to speak, those who speak with knowledge of the facts of something they do not know, those that give free vent to ignorance, to arrogance, to wickedness, they often are the antagonists of progress in healthcare and life sciences.

About the author

Federica Ilaria Ardizzone is twenty-three years old. She lives with her parents in beautiful Sicily, in a small town in the province of Catania, Militello in Val di Catania. She attended the Science High School in Scordia. After graduating, she decided to enroll at the University of Catania and is currently attending the master’s degree in one cycle in Medicine and Surgery. She has a great passion for writing and reading, which fascinate her since she was a child. She enjoys writing articles with topics on medicine because She is passionate about new scientific discoveries and medical research.

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