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A Matter of Health? Legal Aspects of Private Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

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Private umbilical cord blood banking raises a question of special legal regulation. This practice promises the safe storage of biological material on the assumption that it may be useful, at a certain moment in future, for its own donor (or for a donor’s close family member) for curing serious blood diseases. Although currently the therapeutic value of umbilical cord blood is confirmed, there are strong scientific doubts and relevant controversies regarding its use in autologous transplantations. This fact produces conditions of legal uncertainty, since the benefit for those wanting to conclude contracts with private umbilical cord blood banks is not clear. The Greek example illustrates this situation of regulatory deficit well, which eventually creates a major problem, given the increasing number of private banks offering relevant services in the country.

Affiliations: 1: Hellenic National Bioethics Commission PGP in Bioethics, University of Crete Greece


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