Monday, November 14, 2011

Stem cells in breast milk? Trading one ethical dilemma for another

Well, I'd say if they really are the embryonic-like cells, it'll just be trading one ethical dilemma for another. One reason why the Special Report: "Contemporary Ethical Issues in Human Milk Banking in the United States" is so timely!
Breast-milk stem cells may bypass ethical dilemmas - health - 14 November 2011 - New Scientist: Breast-milk stem cells may bypass ethical dilemmas

14:30 14 November 2011 by Linda Geddes
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Embryonic-like stem cells have been isolated from breast milk in large numbers. The discovery raises the possibility of sourcing stem cells for regenerative medicine, without the need to destroy embryos.

Peter Hartmann at the University of Western Australia in Crawley and his colleagues first announced the discovery of stem cells in breast milk in 2008. Now they have grown them in the lab and shown that they can turn into cells representative of all three embryonic germ layers, called the endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm – a defining property of embryonic stem cells (ESC).

Researchers: time for best practices for solicitation & use of human milk

Just up - both the abstract and the full publication are available in the current online issue of American Academy of Pediatrics Journal. The authors conclude it is time to consider "best practices for the solicitation and distribution" of human milk.

Contemporary Ethical Issues in Human Milk-Banking in the United States
  1. Donna J. Miracle, PhD, MSN, RNa,b,c,
  2. Kinga A. Szucs, MD, IBCLCd,e,f,g,h,i,
  3. Alexia M. Torke, MD, MSc,e,j,k,l,
  4. Paul R. Helft, MDc,e,m,n

Abstract: Donor human milk has been used in the United States for >90 years, but recent advances in human milk science and laboratory techniques have led to increasing use of this resource. Pediatricians began using donor human milk in the 1900s in response to anecdotal observation that premature infants had better health outcomes when receiving their own mothers' milk. Since then, a formalized human milk-banking system developed in the mid-1980s and distributed >1 million ounces of pasteurized donor human milk in 2008. Despite growth in the use of pasteurized donor human milk, there is little discussion in the medical literature regarding the ethical considerations of collection and use of this resource. Key ethical considerations include issues surrounding medical decision-making and informed consent, increasing the limited supply of human milk, how ethically to allocate this scarce resource, and concerns linked to the marketing of a human milk.

Prolacta/Helping Hands milk bank adopt health prevention approach to boost profile

Prolacta is really working to boost its profile - this release from its Helping Hands Milk bank calls for moms to adopt healthy lifestyles to avoid premature birth.

Premature Births: Helping Hands Milk Bank Encourages Healthy Lifestyles � Mom it Forward: Premature Births: Helping Hands Milk Bank Encourages Healthy Lifestyles
my world • giving organizations
by Bethany Morgan on November 13th, 2011 | No Comments �
Healthy moms make the world go round—in more ways than one. In support of Prematurity Awareness Month this November, Helping Hands Milk Bank is encouraging pregnant women to establish healthy lifestyles that reduce the risk of premature birth, and to donate excess breast milk to treat those infants who are born prematurely.