Canadian cord blood banking: Legal and policy responses

Stem cells and other components from umbilical cord blood have the potential to treat patients with various life-threatening diseases and conditions. This reality has prompted government institutions around the world to form public banks for storing and preserving cord blood for future public benefit. A strong private market for cord blood banking has also emerged, where private banks market banking samples for future medical use, which may include unproven treatments, or treatments that do not yet or will never exist. Such practices raise key ethical and legal concerns regarding what can and should be marketed, and directly inform the objectives of this project. Specifically, this project will analyze the marketing practices of private cord blood banks, assess claims made, and consider how regulatory tools, such as truth in advertising laws, can help ensure services marketed are done in a scientifically informed and evidence based manner. Deliverables from this project include peer-reviewed publications, unique science communication strategies, such as Caulfield's team's recently developed SCI+POP initiative, plus actionable policy recommendations for reform. This project aligns perfectly with the priorities of Canadian Blood Services, specifically exploring key legal and regulatory issues relevant to the long-term storage and use of biological samples.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
MURDOCH, Blake MARCON, Alessandro
University of Alberta
James Kreppner Award Program
Total Amount Awarded
Project Start Date
Project End Date