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Umbilical cord blood is a valuable source of haematopoietic stem cells. There is little information about whether religious affiliations have any bearing on attitudes to and decisions about its collection, donation and storage. The authors provided information about umbilical cord blood banking to expert commentators from six major world religions (Catholicism, Anglicanism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism) and asked them to address a specific set of questions in a commentary. The commentaries suggest there is considerable support for umbilical cord blood banking in these religions. Four commentaries provide moral grounds for favouring public donation over private storage. None attach any particular religious significance to the umbilical cord or to the blood within it, nor place restrictions on the ethnicity or religion of donors and recipients. Views on ownership of umbilical cord blood vary. The authors offer a series of general points for those who seek a better understanding of religious perspectives on umbilical cord blood banking.


School of Philosophy

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Journal Article

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