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Journal of Law and Medicine: Special issue on umbilical cord blood banking and donation

The March issue of the Journal of Law and Medicine, which publishes contributions about issues that have a legal, medical or bioethical
content arising at the interface between law and health, is a special issue focusing on umbilical cord blood banking and donation.

Professor Cameron Stewart and Associate Professor Ian Kerridge, both from the University of Sydney, have guest edited the issue, which contains articles from a range of academics and professionals from diverse disciplines, such as law, ethics, religion and medicine.



In their Guest Editorial, Professor Stewart and Associate Professor Kerridge state:

“Umbilical cord blood has traditionally been treated as a waste product but with the growing scientific understanding of stem cells, it has become a vital source of stem cells for medical treatment. The stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood can be used in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which is a curative therapy for many cancers (leukaemia, lymphoma), bone marrow failure syndromes, haemoglobinopathies, immunodeficiencies and inborn errors of metabolism. As the science for stem cell therapies improves, there is also a real potential for umbilical cord blood to be used as part of a regime for emerging regenerative therapies.”

This potential for the future use of umbilical cord blood gives rise to a range of legal, ethical and social issues. The articles deal with these issues through the specific coverage of the  development of stem cells from umbilical cord blood and blood banking, religious perspectives on umbilical cord blood banking, the public-private divide, racially conditional donation and the application of the lessons learnt from the protection of human genetic information to umbilical cord blood banking.

The article listing is as follows:

  • Development of stem cells from umbilical cord blood and blood banking: “Non-controversial” and “free of political and ethical debate”? – Loane Skene
  • Religious perspectives on umbilical cord blood banking – Christopher FC Jordens, Michelle AC O’Connor,Ian H Kerridge, Cameron Stewart, Andrew Cameron, Damien Keown, Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, Andrew McGarrity, Abdulaziz Sachedina and Bernadette Tobin
  • Umbilical cord blood banking: Beyond the public-private divide – Michelle AC O’Connor, Gabriel Samuel, Christopher FC Jordens and Ian H Kerridge
  • Racially conditional donation: The example of umbilical cord blood –Paul A Komesaroff, Ian H Kerridge, Cameron Stewart, Gabriel Samuel, Wendy Lipworth and Christopher FC Jordens
  • The ethical, legal and social implications of umbilical cord blood banking: Learning important lessons from the protection of human genetic information – David Weisbrot

To read the abstracts for each article and see what else was published in this issue, visit our Journals Talk website.

By Tara Crisp

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