Stem Cell Death Report – Macquarie Stem Cells. It’s been almost three years since we blogged about a stem cell-related death. We think its high time we post another case of a patient who died following a questionable stem cell procedure.
The patient, Sheila Drysdale, died in 2013 shortly after she underwent a controversial mini-liposuction procedure at the Macquarie Stem Cells clinic in Sydney, Australia.
Three years later in July 2016, an inquest by the NSW government concluded that the patient died from uncontrolled blood loss.
In his report, the Deputy State Coroner for New South Wales Hugh Dillon noted that the Macquarie Stem Cells committed a cluster of errors before and after the procedure which led to Sheila’s death.
He also states that the patient and her husband Ken Drysdale, were not adequately informed of the risks of the procedure.
Here’s what Dillon states in his report: “I find that Sheila Drysdale died at the Seaside Nursing Home, Garden St, Warriewood, New South Wales on 20 December 2013 due to hypovolaemic shock she suffered following uncontrolled blood loss caused by a mini-liposuction stem cell procedure performed upon her at the Macquarie Stem Cells clinic in Liverpool, New South Wales at a time when her anti-coagulant medication had not been ceased.”
Dillon went on to criticize the conduct of Dr Ralph Bright, the principal of Macquarie Stem Cells as well as the physician who performed Sheila’s mini-liposuction surgery:
“I cannot say what motivated Dr Bright to perform this unproven, dubious procedure on Sheila Drysdale. For all I know he may have been moved by pity for her. Although he was willing to accept a large bundle of shares of unknown future value, he made no profit from the procedure because he did not accept them. And certainly, Mr Ken Drysdale bears him no ill-will. This does Mr Drysdale great credit.”
Dillon adds: “But regardless of his motivation, Dr Bright’s performance as a medical practitioner was, for the reasons outlined above, poor and resulted in Sheila Drysdale’s death.”
Now, the next paragraphs below is probably our favorite section of the stem cell death report as it deals with how unscrupulous and enterprising medical practitioners are profiting from sick and vulnerable people:
On a broader scale, it is disturbing that he (and presumably others) would market this “experimental” or “innovative” therapy for profit to vulnerable and desperate people in the full knowledge both that there is little scientific support for the “therapy” in relation to dementia and that he is not conducting a clinical trial of any scientific standing or worth.
The obvious potential for the providers of such purported remedies and therapies to exploit such consumers is great and therefore troubling. So too is the potential conflict of interest between the principle of harm minimisation and commercial medicine.
Related Stem Cell Death Reports:
Antonia Park of The Green and Young Wellness Center