The meanings of consent to the donation of cord blood stem cells: perspectives from an interview-based study of a public cord blood bank in England
Clinical Ethics 5 (1):22-27 (2010)
This paper explores the perspectives of women who have agreed that their umbilical cord blood may be collected for a public ‘cord blood bank’, for use in transplant medicine or research. Drawing on interview data from 27 mothers who agreed to the collection and use of their umbilical cord blood, these choices and the informed consent process are explored. It is shown that the needs of sick children requiring transplants are prominent in narrative accounts of cord blood banking, together with high expectations for future applications of stem cells. Given this dynamic, a concern arises that the complex and multiple uses of tissues and related data might be oversimplified in the consent process. In conclusion, the positive finding of a commitment to mutuality in cord blood banking among these women is underlined, and its implications for the wider debate on cord blood banking are discussed
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