One of the treatments:
The Institute for Regenerative Medicine
The Treatment: Anti-ageing stem-cell injections made from aborted foetal tissue, £15,000 The past 12 months have seen this popular holiday resort become the stem-cell capital of the developed world, treating hundreds of patients in a year.
The upmarket clinic opened last year in one of the island's most luxurious hotels - Villa Nova - after Ukrainian stem-cell researchers, who have been secretly pioneering stem-cell studies with aborted human foetuses for 20 years, teamed up with U.S. investors backed by the Caribbean tourist industry.
The aim was to attract wealthy British and American stem-cell tourists for treatment, avoiding the strict ethical barriers to such treatment enforced in Europe and America. The clinic is so busy it has a waiting list of more than 1,000 patients for cosmetic treatments and has treated dozens of British women. The promise: The clinic claims that the foetal tissue derived from elective abortions at six to 12 weeks is rich in regenerative stem cells. 'We inject the cells taken from the liver tissue of human foetuses directly into the vein in the back of your hand,' explains the well-spoken English consultant Jenny, who gives telephone consultations to potential patients.
'The results are incredible. You'll feel and look different after a month because these cells help the body to regenerate itself. The effects last for approximately a year before it needs to be "topped up'' '.
Despite criticism from Church leaders and religious groups on the Island, Barnett Suskind, chief executive of IRM, is unapologetic about the treatment he carries out. 'It is the most natural form of healing there is - in ten years, everyone will be doing this,' he says. 'You think better, sleep better, and look better. Your quality of life improves and your libido certainly improves.' The reality: 'The science behind the treatments on offer at IRM is based on the theory that stem cells from aborted foetuses may search out damaged and dead cells in the body and work to repair and replace them,' says Dr Stephen Minger, director of stem cell biology at King's College, London.
'But what this clinic is doing raises serious issues. For a start, it is not regulated by any medical board and there is no documented evidence or controlled clinical trials to back up their claims. More worryingly, there is no proof that the tissue is obtained from truly elective abortions rather than financially induced ones.
'Research shows that they openly import foetuses from poverty-stricken provinces in Ukraine and Russia, preying on the financially desperate to treat vain Western women.'