We witnessed a terrific set of case studies about medical tourism for different procedures this week. Among the topics, we heard student presentations about BIID amputations, Swiss rejuvenation clinics, ips cells for macular regeneration in Japan, stem cell therapies in Russia, three-parent IVF with mt-DNA in the UK, gene therapies in China, kidney transplant in Iran, hip resurfacing in India, and more.
At the end of class, I mentioned what we might want to reflect on this week: hope. What role does hope play in medical practice and the impetus to medical tourism? What role should it play? Hope isn’t always prudent or practical: how do you make sense of hope and balance hopefulness with sometimes-less-hopeful impulses? How do you think patients think about hope, and is this different from the hope of medical researchers and of medical practitioners?