DOH consultant quits over stem cell issue

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MANILA, Philippines—A prominent physician on Friday resigned as consultant of the Department of Health (DOH) after disagreeing with the government decision allowing the spread of “experimental” stem cell therapy in the country and letting doctors make millions from the treatment.

Dr. Anthony Leachon, a DOH consultant for noncommunicable diseases, sent his resignation letter on Friday morning to Health Secretary Enrique Ona after the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) and 20 other major medical organizations and specialty societies decried the “unregulated administration of stem cell therapy in the country.”

“I believe I have lost your trust and confidence and I might not be effective serving the DOH and fighting the PCP and (other) medical societies,” said Leachon, PCP vice president.

He said stem cell treatment, although still considered experimental, was already spreading in the country with “many inadequately trained medical and other health practitioners” administering it to patients.

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