32. Umbilical Cord Blood

Parents should be educated about and encouraged to choose to bank their child’s umbilical cord blood, especially if medical conditions exist in the child that make the future use of cord blood likely. Parents could choose to donate the cord blood for free to a public bank for the benefit of the general public, or they may choose a private blood banking service to ensure its availability and use for the child or anyone else authorized by the parents.

Parents who have purchased a private cord blood banking service have already purchased their exclusive use rights. However, parents who have donated to the public cord blood bank would need to pay market prices for any cord blood they may need in the future. Except for children who have been born with a known possibility that they may need their own cord blood in the future, there would be no guarantee that an individual’s cord blood donated at birth would be there for their own use in the future. Nevertheless, as soon as it is known that an individual would need the use of their own cord blood, an immediate search of the national cord blood database would check to make sure that the original cord blood is still available. If it is still available, it would immediately be removed from circulation and reserved for the individual diagnosed as potentially needing to use it.

Universal Cord Blood Banking Fee

There should be a mandatory fee of $500 for every live birth dedicated to funding a national cord blood banking system. Ideally, this system should be set up so that all the revenues generated by the $500 per birth fees and the selling of cord blood to needy individuals/families as well as to research scientists will at least cover all of the expenses associated with running this national umbilical cord blood banking system. Donors to a public bank would not be compensated if their cord blood is sold to another party.

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