Dr. Terrence Drew Deputy-Chair-Person of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party

By Staff Writer

With opinions flying over stem cell and regenerative medicine, the opposition and the government have differing views over the purchase of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine.

Dr. Denzil Douglas, former Prime Minister and current leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, says an MRI machine was purchased for a proposed stem cell project under his administration to benefit the public. However, Dr. Douglas claims the machine is presently sitting in Miami waiting for shipment to the Federation. He also says the present administration is stalling on the project.

The current Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris disagrees with Dr. Douglas. He claims he knows nothing about an MRI machine and called the former Prime Minister’s claims rubbish.

On Wednesday, Jul6 6, Dr. Terrance Drew, deputy chairperson for the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, said the government should have an MRI machine of its own and not subject patients to continue to be tested on a facility used to carry out research on monkeys.

According to Dr. Drew, the machine is located at the St. Kitts Biometric Medical Center and is being used to experiment on monkeys as well as for human beings.  At his press conference earlier this month, the Prime Minister revealed that over 100 people had been serviced by the machine.  That does not sit well with Dr. Drew who has been embroiled in controversy with the government.

He sways to his knowledge the Federation is the only place in the Western Hemisphere where people are using the same machine as primates and added on those grounds he totally opposes using the MRI machine at the monkey facility.

Continuing his argument, he said he was privy to a document that patients of the institution would receive and that it states if an animal uses an MRI machine, it is cleaned with 10 percent bleach.  He added, “I cannot agree that human beings would have to be subjected to that.”  He also said there is only one MRI machine on the island and that his party fully supports a modern machine that patients don’t have to share with monkeys.