Unrecognised Stem Cell Therapy: Mumbai Radiologist suspended for 5 years
Mumbai: Taking Stringent action against a Borivali-based radiologist, the Maharashtra Medical Council has ordered his suspension for a period of 5 years after finding him guilty on several counts including gross negligence, false propaganda and falsely claiming to be a specialist in Stem Cell Therapy
Mumbai Mirror reports about the case of this Borivali-based DMRD radiologist, Dr Sunil Waghmare. The issue goes back to the year 2010, when one, Gopal Donkhede approached Dr Waghmare, for the treatment of his 17-year-old son, who suffered from mental under-development and could not speak.
As per the complaint, Dr Waghmare posed as a Stem Cell Therapy specialist and promised Donkhede that his son would speak fluently just days after he leaves his clinic, reports Mumbai Mirror.
As per the father's complaint, the patient was admitted to Dr Waghmare’s clinic and was confined to a ‘stem cell therapy room’. The family was not allowed access to the patient and no records of the therapy administered were provided to them. All they were told was that the boy will start speaking “within days”, the father alleged.
Even after the therapy, the patient did not show any improvement close to a week after his discharge. Thereafter, the father approached Dr Waghmare, who asked him to be patient and prescribed some multi-vitamins. Further, when the patient’s condition didn’t improve, the father once again went to the specialist seeking the refund of Rs 3 lakh that he had spent on the patient’s treatment.
Frustrated that his son’s condition remained the same even after undergoing the complex treatment, the father moved the Maharashtra Medical Council and filed a complaint in 2011. He also alleged that the doctor ‘did nothing’ but prescribed multivitamins when the patient’s condition didn’t improve. Further, he claimed that the doctor turned abusive when he sought the refund of the treatment and cheated them of the amount.
In 2016, the council found Dr Waghmare guilty of gross negligence and suspended his license for five years. The ethics committee held him guilty on several counts, including false propaganda and displaying a wrong degree in the public domain, stated an earlier report in TOI
However, Dr Waghmare challenged the Maharashtra medical council order at the high court, but the court did not deem it fit to intervene in the case and directed the council to hear the specialist one last time and pronounce its judgment.
At the second hearing before medical council last month, Dr Waghmare claimed that he had carried out the stem cell therapy with the assistance of a specialist whose name he could not provide, leading the MMC to repeat its earlier decision to suspend his license for five years.
“Dr Waghmare could not produce a single document to prove he had carried out any research in stem cells therapy. There are strict ICMR guidelines in what sort of cases stem cell therapy can be allowed. The doctors who can administer stem cell therapy must also secure a clearance from ICMR,” Dr Shivkumar Utture, President, MMC, informed Mumbai Mirror.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines govern stem cell therapy, a highly specialized arm of medicine, in our country.
Read Also: ICMR: Frequently Asked Questions on Stem Cells & their Clinical Application
Clarifying that he treated the boy on the humanitarian ground, Dr Waghmare stated to Mirror, “I have admitted to the MMC that I made a mistake. I didn’t follow the ICMR guidelines, but I treated the boy in good faith. The boy’s father approached me after other lines of treatment had failed.”
He also claimed that he has used stem cell therapy on several diabetic patients and they are all now insulin free.