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Cord Blood: Establishing a National Hematopoietic Stem Cell Bank Program
sible for the “collection, screening for infectious and genetic disease, tissue typing, cryopreservation, and storage of cord blood as a resource to the public” (Florida State Legislature, 2004b). The banks participating in the consortium are charged with “aligning their outreach programs and activities to all geographic areas of the state, covering the entire state” (Florida State Legislature, 2004b). Interestingly, the Florida Public Health Provision identifies the need for outreach programs targeted to Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and other ethnic minorities. The law also provides for a religious exemption where “blood transfer is contrary to the moral principle the denomination considers to be an essential part of its beliefs” (Florida State Legislature, 2004b). Although the consortium is allowed to charge transplant centers, the statute requires written disclosure of any financial remuneration for collection.
The state legislatures in Maryland and Illinois have also enacted laws regarding the collection of cord blood for public use. In those states, the responsibility for public cord blood collection is largely that of the hospitals. Under these laws, a hospital “shall allow a pregnant patient to arrange for the donation of the blood extracted from the umbilical cord of the patient’s newborn child to a certified7 public cord blood bank” (State of Illinois, 2004; State of Maryland, 2004a, 2004b). Under both statutes, a patient who agrees to donate cord blood to a public bank “may not be charged for the costs of collection, storing, or transporting the cord blood.” As with the Florida statutes, exceptions to this general rule are provided in cases in which blood collection conflicts with the religious denomination of the hospital or a hospital employee or if cord blood collection would threaten the health of the mother or the newborn child.
In contrast to the statutes described above, Oklahoma has also passed legislation pertaining to cord blood, but it does not specify a precise structure for a program. Rather, the Danielle Martinez Act requires that an Advisory Council on Cord Blood Donation be established (Oklahoma State Legislature, 2004). That advisory council is charged with providing recommendations on a cord blood donor program to the legislature by an original deadline of November 1, 2004, which was recently extended to December 1, 2006 (Oklahoma State Legislature, 2005).
Although New Jersey does not have a public cord blood program like those in Florida, Maryland, or Illinois, or an advisory council like that in Oklahoma, the state is considering legislation that would offer the Coriell Institute for Medical Research a $5 million loan to provide additional funds to expand collection efforts of the New Jersey Cord Blood Bank, which the Coriell Institute maintains (Quinn, 2004; Anonymous, 2004). The legisla-
The definition of “certified” is not provided in the text of either bill.