On 9 January 2009, the cancer site of Cancerstory.com became dormant.
However, the web contents can still be read like a book without further update.
Food for thought
- Beware of Soya Bean
- How safe is blood transfusion?
- Health Warning - Acrylamide
- To Each His Own
- Mate tea may cause Cancer
- The Three Rules of Life
- Coming Clean with Cancer
- HOTA Opt-out System
- Facing up to Mortality
- The Hearing Aid Story
- Fad Diets
- Profitable Poison - Botox
- Rich in Love
- Whistle Blowers
- Is cancer really a "jinx" word?
- Cancer - An eye-opener

- Letter to SingHealth - 4 Jun 07
Sharing of Moral Values

The above Chinese calligraphy is kindly
contributed by Ms Florence Shen

Profitable Poison - Botox

So long there is profit, business entrepreneurs and doctor-poisoners are prepared to "poison" their fellowmen and patients respectively. A wrinkle-free face is much sought after by the rich and celebrities - leading to the popularity of "botoxing" that provides a great opportunity for its purveyors to "print money".

Botox, botulinum toxin makes muscles relax. It eliminates frown lines by immobilizing the muscles that yield them. It is a by-product of Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic bacterium. The effect of the toxin is to kill nearby flesh, providing more oxygen-free living space for the bacteria.

The toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine from the endings of motor nerves. As the nerves cannot deliver signals, the muscles they would usually operate are effectively paralyzed. This paralysis lasts for some months, even up to a year, before the patients have to come back for another dose, or have a suddenly wrinkly face.

Botox was first used for strictly medicinal purposes, to treat lazy eye and uncontrolled blinking, but researchers soon noticed that wrinkles were also affected. A few side effects have been seen in some cases - minor allergic reactions, bruising, or a temporary drooping of the eye.

Botox also helps people who suffer from a form of excessive sweating called hyperhidrosis. Sufferers become saturated, even when they use pads and antiperspirants, causing them intense emotional upset and social stigma. The quick fix is a Botox injection into the underarm skin, the palms of the hands, or the soles of the feet, where it paralyzes the sweat glands for six months to a year.

Botox - "Privilege" of the rich

In 2005, the debate on euthanasia sparked off by Terri Schiavo's death drew different views. In the same year, I knew of a medical case whereby a 38 year-old widow with multiple sclerosis was caught in a similar predicament. This patient was prepared to die (liberation from sufferings) as there was no cure for her. Unfortunately, her wish cannot be granted. She has to carry on until the Lord calls for her. Meanwhile, palliative care can only help to slow down the progression and relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Prolonging life without compromising quality can be quite difficult for her condition. Her spasm was very bad - her legs crossed tightly. A Botox injection will help to relax her spasm. As she was poor, her hospitalization expenses were paid by the Medifund. Hence, getting a Botox injection needed much "justification" before it could be administered on her. I am resigned to the fact that money makes a great difference. As long as one is rich, they can receive as many Botox injections when wrinkles reappear on their faces. Sadly, when botox injections are badly needed to relieve a medical condition, the poor struggle to pay for it.

Finally, she received the precious Botox injection in December 2005 when her condition worsened. In May 2006, she was weaned off the ventilator and discharged from the hospital. She is now looked after by a nursing home.

My thoughts :

In 2003, a representative from MCYS advised me to adopt a business model so that I could sustain the operations of CancerStory.com's resource centre in Eastpoint Mall. He cited how a medical institution in India which specializes in eye operations is able to provide free medical treatments to the poor and needy based on the fees paid by the rich patients. Unfortunately, I did not have a business model, and Cancerstory.com's resource centre was closed in December 2003 due to the lack of funds.

One lazy afternoon, after reading the book on Poisons by Peter Macinnis, I thought I might have found a winning business model for a social enterprise.

The sure-win business model (if only the Ministry of Health supports it)

If regulations can be imposed on the use of botox (a "legal" poison) strictly in a non-profit medical institution, it will generate good money from the rich Botox clientele. It is a fact that botoxing is a necessity to the rich and celebrities. As fundraising is getting tougher these days, I reckon it will be a good business model to serve a social cause.

Why let the wealth go to a few individuals/private doctor-poisoners? The wealth should be distributed to serve better purposes - helping those people who struggle to pay for Botox injections to relieve their medical conditions, and many other worthy social causes.

This web page was emailed to the Minister of Health on 14 May 2007. Hopefully, he will study the feasibility of my proposal.

Posted on 14 May 2007

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