French parents fight for right to umbilical cord

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French parents fight for right to umbilical cord
Photo: AFP

Two parents in France are not happy that they were not allowed to keep the umbilical cord after the birth of their baby and want a change in the law that give the mother the sole rights to the tissue.


Two parents in France have launched legal proceedings to bring about a change in the law that would grant them the right over their baby’s umbilical cord, which is currently considered as “operational waste”.

The parents are demanding a change in the legal status of an “umbilical cord” which they argue contains valuable blood stem cells and therefore should be the property of the mother

Currently in France the cords, which attach the baby to the mother, are taken away after birth for blood testing.

It is currently illegal for a mother to keep the cordon, which links the placenta to the foetus and provides oxygen and vital nutrients.

The mother, a nurse, who has not been named, signed a consent form before giving birth, but she argues they were not properly informed.

Two years after the birth she has decided to take action.

The parents who are pushing for the law change say the fact the hospital takes away the cordon represents a “serious violation of the individual’s freedoms and the right to a private life”.

A court must now decide whether the cord belongs to the mother, the child, the family or the hospital. Currently is has no legal status.

The lawyer who is in charge of their case said: “The cordon could be kept in a blood bank as happens abroad in countries like Switzerland and it could be used in the future."




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