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October 28, 2006

Research: Causes and Prevention, Research: Cure

Question from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA:

What is your current opinion of paying to store newborn umbilical cord blood for potential use in the future for treatment or cure of diabetes or other illness? The cost/benefit ratio still seems to lean toward not incurring the expense even if there is a chance your offspring may develop diabetes in the future, but money would not be a concern if there were a real foreseeable use for curing diabetes or other potential illnesses in the relatively near future. Our practitioner has also given us the option of donating the cord blood for research purposes. Obviously, we would have no control over its use and receive no benefit from it as it relates to our own personal future use, but it would help advance research science. Have you heard of this? If so, what is your opinion on donation of cord blood?

Answer:

There just is not enough scientific evidence to warrant such expenses. I think that your summary is correct. As far as donating cord blood for other research, this is an individual decision. I would think it is easily done without much angst and, therefore, generally a nice and positive thing to do, however.

SB