The Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that the clause in the cord blood law banning the buying and selling of cord blood is constitutional.
The court dismissed the case in a unanimous vote filed by a cord blood research company against the Article 5 of the Cord Blood Management Law that bans any activity that promises to give or receive another person’s umbilical cord blood.
“Considering cord blood as an object of sale can violate human rights and dignity,” the court said in the ruling. “If a cord blood business bases itself on profit, there may be negligence in the management of storing cord blood and an increase of illegal distribution of cord blood that has passed its storage period or is not suitable for use."
The complainant challenged the law’s constitutionality after a lower court rejected the company’s suit to confirm the exclusive sales right of cord blood stem cells citing the umbilical cord blood management law.
The company had previously obtained the exclusive sales right through a contract with a partnered company in 2008. However, its partner withdrew the contract after filing for rehabilitation for financial troubles.
Cord blood, found in the placentas and umbilical cords of women after giving birth, is known for its high concentration of stem cells. The cord blood helps the body generate white blood cells, red blood cells, and blood platelets and treats diseases such as leukemia and aplastic anemia.
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