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.
Table of Contents
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
Dr Karen Devine is a senior lecturer at the University of Kent teaching on the Medical Law and Ethics and Obligations modules. Her research interests lie in the legal and ethical aspects of bio-banking, clinical negligence and the relationship between legal obligations, autonomy, choice and consent.