Reporter Further Exposes Abortion-Stem Cell-Beauty Treatment Scandal

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 18, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Reporter Further Exposes Abortion-Stem Cell-Beauty Treatment Scandal Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 18
, 2006

London, England ( — British reporter Matthew Hill has uncovered a grisly practice where babies from Ukraine are killed via infanticide or become victims of abortions for their stem cells for dubious beauty treatments. The practice involves ravaging the babies’ bodies for organs and stem cells.

As previously reported, Hill produced a documentary for the BBC showing how a hospital is snatching newborns and aborted babies and giving their parts and cells to stem cell firms around the world for controversial beauty injections.

Hill writes in a Monday article in the London Daily Mail newspaper about how he uncovered the scandal, including a videotape of post-mortem examinations.

He says a charity worker at a hospital in the eastern Ukrainian city Kharkiv showed him the videotape.

"Officially, the cells are taken from aborted fetuses with the mothers’ consent," Hill writes, but "there could also be hundreds of babies stolen to order, to feed demand for stem cells from around the world."

Hill says the first hint he found of the bizarre trade came from stem cell researcher Stephen Minger, from Kings College.

Minger told Hill that a Barbados clinic called the Institute For Regenerative Medicine, had contacted him to get his endorsement of the IRM beauty treatments involving the injection of stem cells from the dead babies.

Minger said he refused, saying there were no studies backing up IRM’s claims the injections would have the desired effect. He also was upset at how the babies were harvested for their stem cells, saying some of the babies could have been "liquidized" to obtain the cells.

"I find it very distasteful that they are used for beauty treatments," Minger told Hill. "As far as I can tell from what’s been published, a lot of people go to this clinic in Barbados feeling a bit run down, or that their skin has just lost some elasticity, and they are getting ‘smoothies’ or perk-me-ups."

The Daily Mail report says IRM buys the stem cells from the Ukraine hospital.

Hill went to Barbados to get more information and he eventually met with one of IRM’s senior doctors, Shami Ramesh.

Ramesh said he would show Hill proof of how the beauty injections work or how they help patients with various diseases.

"This ‘proof’ turned out to be one study of a single patient with motor neurone disease and another of eight cardiac patients. The numbers were too small for proper analysis and the data had not been published in any reputable peer-reviewed journal," Hill wrote.

Ramesh said the best proof was in how many patients kept coming back for more injections.

Hill said Ramesh denied allegations that the stem cells his firm uses come from newborn babies snatched form their mothers and killed for their cells and body parts.

"He said he had faith in the Institute of Cryobiology in Kharkiv, the source of the stem cells used by the Barbados clinic, but added that ‘maybe in the future we will go and check it out,’" Hill wrote in the newspaper report.

Hill then traveled to Ukraine and said Dr. Valentin Greshenko, head of the Institute of Cryobiology refused to be interviewed.

Searching for details, he went to the Maternity Hospital Number Six, located in a high-crime section of Kharkiv.

There, he interviewed a 26 year-old woman, Svetlana Plusikova, who had a normal pregnancy but was told after birth that her baby was stillborn. Doctors refused to let her see the baby.

"I think she was stolen. If she was dead I should have been allowed to see her. I think a lot of young mothers like me lost their children, but right now nobody turns to the police," she told HIll.

Dimitry and Olena Stulnev shared with Hill their own story of how their baby was shown to them and then doctors claimed the baby died the next day. Hospital officials refused to provide them more information or allow them to see their baby.

Hill said he eventually obtained videotaped evidence of the infanticides and abortions from Tatyana Zhakarova, from the Federation Of Families With Many Children.

"Tatyana discovered many more infants had died at the hospital in similarly odd circumstances. And after intensive lobbying, the authorities eventually agreed to have the tiny bodies of around 30 babies exhumed and examined," Hill wrote in the Daily Mail.

"Tatyana showed me the video she had been allowed to record of the post-mortem examinations that followed. The gruesome film shows the carcasses of babies, some of whom were full-term, with their organs and brains missing," Hill added.

In an attempt to prevent exposing the truth, officials have apparently apprehended Tatyana’s 20 year-old son. He has been missing since October and she fears he’s been killed.

Ultimately, Hill was granted five minutes to talk with Maternity Hospital Number Six’s chief doctor Larysa Nazarenko.

"The children are not lost," she told Hill. "They are not stolen — that’s just somebody else’s illusion."

"There is no such therapy," she said, according to the London newspaper. "No work in this hospital is connected with the use of cells. This is the wrong address. I deny everything."

Hill reports that the Council Of Europe has started its own investigation of the barbaric stem cell trade and it’s first report talks of a "culture of trafficking of children snatched at birth and a wall of silence from hospital staff upwards over their fate."

Related news stories:
Clinics Use Tissue From Babies Killed in Abortions for Cosmetic Injections

Abortion, Infanticide of Ukraine Babies Fuels Stem Cell Research Industry