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This book explores the legal and ethical dilemmas that arise from the procurement, storage and use of stem cells derived from the umbilical cord of new-born infants. Karen Devine traces the emergence of umbilical cord blood (UCB) as a biological resource of potential therapeutic value, and introduces the medical researchers, practitioners and patients that fought to prove its worth.
The book examines the perceived risk and rewards of the collection and storage process, and maps the national and international regulatory framework within which cord blood use currently operates. Devine exposes the dichotomy that exists between public and private cord blood banking systems and potential ownership rights to cells, and explores alternative methods of cell production that offer a comparable utility.
The book will be of great use and interest to scholars and students of medical law, bioethics, and medical research and practice.