Since the therapeutic value of umbilical cord blood (UCB) stem cells was first recognised in the late 1980s, there has been a proliferation of both public and private UCB banks worldwide. However, the ability to utilise such a potentially valuable resource has provoked a number of controversies. In a distinctly accessible style, this book unpacks the socio-legal implications of the UCB collection process and constructs a detailed analysis of the law and ethics that surrounds UCB banking in the UK, including ownership of the cells. Its enquiry is located within the theoretical framework of altruism versus self-interest and explores the notions of risk and choice associated with this distinctive blend of public/private healthcare provision. The book evaluates the impact of the Human Tissue Act 2004 and the European Union Tissues and Cells Directive (2004/23/EC) on the UCB industry and provides a unique insight into the effect that the law may have on the NHS whose maternity staff and premises are used to collect UCB. This book would be of interest primarily to a UK readership in addition to expectant families, health professionals, students, academics, practitioners and the UCB industry elsewhere in the world.
1. Introducing the issues 2. The risks of cord blood collection and storage 3. The rise of the cord blood industry 4. Cord blood and the role of informed consent in law 5. Cord blood, the standard of care in negligence and the law on risk disclosure 6. Cord blood ownership
Scientific and clinical advances, social and political developments and the impact of healthcare on our lives raise profound ethical and legal questions. Medical law and ethics have become central to our understanding of these problems, and are important tools for the analysis and resolution of problems – real or imagined.
In this series, scholars at the forefront of biomedical law and ethics will contribute to the debates in this area, with accessible, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial ideas. Each book in the series will develop an independent hypothesis and argue cogently for a particular position. One of the major contributions of this series is the extent to which both law and ethics are utilised in the content of the books, and the shape of the series itself.