Much stem cell research and many stem cell-based interventions depend on the availability of numerous viable cell lines. Multipotent and pluripotent stem cell lines may be created from embryonic stem cells, but also from stem cells found in amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, and other non-embryonic sources. Stem cell banks could collect, store and share enough cell lines to make good HLA matches with the vast majority of the inhabitants of a country or region, and thus might be easier and less expensive to use widely than individually matched induced pluripotent stem cell lines.

The collection, storage and sharing of stem cells in and through biobanks raises a well-known set of interesting ethical and policy issues for stakeholders: the individuals who provide their stem cells for banking, the biobanks that collect and store them, the investigators who use them for many types of research, and the patient-subjects who receive them in research studies or innovative interventions.

This presentation explores these ethical and policy issues, which include: informed consent, confidentiality and recontact, ownership and benefit-sharing, scope and control of future uses, innovation and the therapeutic misconception, and considerations of justice.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Received: 05 March 2012
  • Accepted: 28 March 2012
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error