The ethics of cord blood banking in light of ownership, informed consent, and solidarity

Elena Salvaterra, Lucilla Lecchi, Sarah Gobbi, Paolo Rebulla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Umbilical cord blood banking raises several issues in legal and ethical terms, from the determination of ownership of biological material to the respect of the right of self determination-namely, the right to give an informed consent-of the individuals involved (newborn, parents), to the commercialization of cord blood banks and to the related autologous use of donated placental blood. Recently these issues have been considered by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies to the European Commission (EGE) in the Opinion on "Ethical aspects of umbilical cord blood banking" (Opinion No. 19 of 16 March 2004). They have also been part of a wide and intense international debate. This paper aims at examining these themes-ownership, informed consent, and commercialization of cord blood banking-with particular regard to the EGE Opinion on the ethical aspects of umbilical cord blood banking. Such opinion focuses on private cord blood banks for autologous use and underlines the legitimacy conditions for these banks' activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalCell Preservation Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biotechnology


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