Working with Illinois birth injury victims, our medical malpractice attorneys have become familiar with the many emotional issues that following the physical harm caused by the situation. Parents grapple every day with trying to balance the honest hopes for their children and a realistic assessment of what challenges they will likely face throughout their lives. When we file a birth injury lawsuit on their behalf, one of the main goals is always ensuing that the child will have access to the resources he or she needs to lessen those challenges and maximize their potential.
However, we all understand that there is no amount of money that can eliminate those challenges entirely. That is why many in the legal field, particularly on the plaintiff’s side, explain that while the goal of civil lawsuits is to “make the victim whole,” in reality they can never be made whole. Damage awards are inherently insufficient, but they are the best we can do under the circumstances.
Having worked with many families who have faced the reality that their child will never be completely without challenges, our Chicago birth injury lawyers were disgusted to watch a 60 Minutes news segment this week about doctors knowingly providing false hope to many of these families. If you’ve got fifteen minutes free, take a moment to watch the video HERE.
The gist of the story is the fact that some unscrupulous medical providers are using exaggerated promises about the effect of stem cell research to give families of children with conditions like cerebral palsy false hope about the current extent of the research’s potential. While stem cell research has a lot of potential, the truth is that no stem cell research miracle is available today. We cannot yet repair damaged cells, and so claims to the contrary are essentially cons that both dash hopes of victims while trying to take money from them.
Unfortunately, the 60 minutes story noted that there is actually a rapidly growing trend in fake stem cell cures. Not only that but now investigators have found that there are some egregious hucksters that are selling dangerous “at-home” stem cell injection plans. Besides costing families money, these injections also have the potential to severely harm the innocent victims involved.
A brief search online yields professional looking websites seeking to sell stem cell treatments for a wide range of disease-including many incurred during birth. It is easy to see how families desperate for anything that may improve the life of their loved one might take the time to contact one of these apparently sophisticated operations in an effort to learn more. However, they should be avoided at all costs. As one victim explained, people who have already suffered these losses, “don’t need any more expense, don’t need any more heartache, and don’t need any more false promises.”
We encourage all readers to be on the look-out for these frauds. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. As always it is important to get second (and third) opinions when your suspicions are aroused as to the reliability or credibility of those involved in these and similar matters.
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