One time Jesus saw a disabled guy hanging around a pool that was supposed to magically heal people. This poor fellow had been sick for 38 years. Jesus, usually a pretty perceptive person, asked the man, “Do you want to be healed?”
That’s an odd question to ask of a man who hasn’t walked for nearly four decades and is desperate enough to try the”magic pool cure.” If any of my MS friends were asked that, I’d lay money the answer would be yes. To read the whole story in slightly more eloquent terms, see St. John’s account of the event here. By the way, the guy He asks the question of doesn’t say yes. Jesus goes ahead and heals him anyway. Go figure.
My concern in this post is rather, do people want to see MS healed, i.e. cured? Again, the obvious answer would seem to be yes. There’s been evidence to make me question that possibility. For example, after a recent major conference of MS research, I witnessed a panel discussion between several top scientists. At one point, one of these researchers said (paraphrasing), “Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with CCSVI anymore.”
Maybe CCSVI was a red herring, maybe not. Regardless, shouldn’t everyone’s reaction to a failed attempt at a cure for MS be disappointment, not celebration? Shouldn’t he have said something like, “It’s a damn shame CCSVI didn’t pan out, but we learned something from the experience. [Did we?] We’ll keep looking.” It made me think that this guy is less interested in a cure than he is making a name for himself and whatever is his personal research niche.
Then there was the Tecfidera brouhaha back a couple of years ago. I wrote about it here. In spite of all the breathlessly exuberant news coverage, it was a financial event, not a medical one.
Here’s another little snippet that makes me say, “Hmmmm…”
There is no approved medication for the treatment of progressive forms of the disease. None. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. If Genzyme or Novartis announced a clinical trial of a drug for progressive MS, the Wall Street Journal would be falling all over itself talking about it. But it turns out that such a treatment exists. Today. And it doesn’t have serious side effects like Tecfidera, such as possible DEATH. That’s because it’s not a drug, it’s a vitamin.
High dose biotin, a.k.a. vitamin H or B7, was tested on people with progressive MS. The results? From the study’s abstract: “91.3% of SPMS or PPMS patients improved clinically with high doses of biotin.” Wow.
Unfortunately, no big pharma firm is likely to make a killing off a substance that can’t be patented. Thus, no headlines, no hoopla. After all, it’s only a potentially successful treatment for people who’ve had no hope till now.
If He were walking among us today, I think Jesus might ask some of those scientists and pharmaceutical execs, “Do you want to heal them?”