The BBC has an article on the Ukraine harvesting stem cells from newborn babies. And ever more important, they have video proof that babies were dismembered at the time of the postmortum examination, which is not a routine practice during autopsy. The article suggests that this was done to easier harvest “fetal” bone marrow stem cells.

The BBC has been investigating the rumors since August, when they published a report about newborn babies being taken from parents, and then parents told by staff that the babies were dead and that since “abortions” don’t have death certificates, there would be none issued, and that the babies were discarded in a mass grave with other aborted babies.

At that time, the suspicion was that the children were being sold for adoption to rich parents in Western Europe, or worse, to use organs for donation. But the newest BBC tape shows that the bodies buried had been dismembered, making the children’s deaths considered suspicious for homicide to obtain stem cells.

The Ukraine has long been advertising unproven stem cell treatements for aging and various diseases.  This BBC report on experimental stem cell treatment discusses shows. The article mentions EmClinic in Kiev, lauding it as a “pioneer” clinic in stem cell treatment. The stem cells mentioned in the article are supposed to have been taken from abortions performed from three to eight weeks, and then divided into three groups depending where the tissue originated. Yet the safest technique of early abortion, using a thin tube with suction, would make it difficult to sort out where the tissues originated. Scientists also questioned how the “new” cells blindly injected into a new body would live and grow, and were skeptical of the exaggerated claims of cures that had never been confirmed by outside sources.

Yet dying patients claimed to the BBC reporter that they felt better. Alas, as most doctors know, placebo alone will do that, which is why faith healers and quacks make so much money.

How much of the report of stealing babies for stem cells is true is another question. You see, much of the witchcraft scares of medieval Europe were about midwives killing newborns to use in “black masses” or for witchcraft rituals.

In the 1970’s, when many Europeans and Americans started adopting from overseas, the rumors (started by the KGB in a newspaper in India) suggested the children were not being “adopted” but taken to the US to use for organ donations. This rumor keeps popping up; a Korean film was made with the same story, then rumors sprang up in Brazil and Colombia about street children killed for organs, and the latest incarnation of the rumor is an anti American Turkish film that shows a Jewish American doctor killing people in Iraq for organs. Indeed, there is an active “urban legend” of travelers being given sedatives in their drinks, and waking up minus a kidney.

So, are the rumors true, or like the witchcraft rumors, merely an urban legend?

Given the evidence of dismembered babies, one suspects that this time, there might be some truth behind the rumors.

———————Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines with her husband. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket

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