NAME 'N SHAME
Organogenesis / Apligraf
Circumcision in America: Are baby boys’ foreskins for sale?
One dad went to find out …..
By Anthony Losquadro
I looked into this company, which claims to have sold over 1 million units of Apligraf and Dermagraft products.
In New York State, Organogenesis is licensed to sell their products in 300 medical facilities across the state.
According to the Boston Globe, the company is valued at $673 million, and recently became a public stock company.
I identified three hospitals procuring foreskins on behalf of Organogenesis.
1) Tufts Medical Center
2) Boston University Medical Center
3) The Iowa Clinic.
For one year I looked into, Organogenesis paid doctors over $1.3 million dollars. The payments include money for meals and lodging. In other words — free vacations.
Lechan responded two days later via email acknowledging Tuft’s participation in Organogenesis’ Tissue Donation Program (TDP). He insisted the program is “managed by strict IRB, ethics committee, and HIPAA regulations.”
These hospitals have a financial incentive to perform circumcisions and then another financial incentive to sell the foreskins to a for-profit company. The hospitals are then in the role of providing care to infants and dispensing medical advice to parents. This is a deeply troubling conflict of interest to me.
Apligraf is a bilayered tissue composed of a bovine type I collagen matrix populated with human male neonatal fibroblasts and an epidermal sheet derived from male neonatal epidermal keratinocytes.
ETHICS AND COMPLIANCE
Organogenesis is committed to conducting its business ethically and in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and policies. In keeping with that commitment, we have developed and implemented a rigorous and comprehensive compliance program which governs our entire business operations.
Sorry but it’s not ethical to sell the stolen genital tissue of infants, its just NOT!
You Can’t Make This Up California Tissue Bank License
Tissues made of cells from foreskin of circumcised babies speed diabetic wound healing
‘Oh, my goodness, I could have gone without knowing that,’ ” said Wilma “Willie” Lehn, a 78-year-old Omahan who has had three applications of Dermagraft on a big-toe wound.
Medicare reimbursement for the expensive products is a concern for some who make and apply the products. The products currently cost a clinic roughly $1,700 per packet or container used for one session with a patient
Ethics of using infant foreskins for bioengineering
The amputation of healthy tissue from an infant is in itself unnecessary and unethical, violating the child’s human rights and exposing him to pain, risk of surgical complications and loss of this erogenous tissue. Then to use the foreskin as a tissue donation for the benefit of third parties contravenes the ethics of tissue donation, as the donor has not consented to the donation.
Benefit accrues to the doctor, who is paid both to perform the operation and to provide the tissue to the bioengineering firm. The bioengineering firm operates a multimillion dollar business. It has been estimated that the potential retail value of one baby’s foreskin is $190 million5. The recipient benefits from a satisfactory skin graft. This money-making business, however, operates in an ethical vacuum, in which the unconsenting donor is irreparably harmed, and receives no compensation.
Members of an ethical profession should refuse to use bioengineered tissue derived from foreskins of living babies.
Alternative techniques should be developed to grow the patient’s own skin cells in tissue culture and then graft them back onto his lesion, or, alternatively, tissue derived from cadavers or consenting adult donors would be acceptable.
JOHN P WARREN
Organogensis (781) 575-0775, 888-432-5232
Customer Support at 1-800-598-6936
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