November 14, 2007
At its meeting in Hawaii this week, the American Medical Association adopted new guidelines to help doctors counsel pregnant women about donating their babies' umbilical cord blood to public cord blood banks. "Umbilical cord blood stem cells are useful for some therapeutic purposes and as a potential source of stem cells. Physicians should be prepared to discuss cord blood banking options with their patients during pregnancy," said board member Dr. William A. Dolan. In a separate matter, AMA endorsed routine HIV testing while noting the importance of safeguarding patients' privacy. "AMA's new policy calls on physicians to routinely test consenting adult patients for HIV," said board member Dr. Ardis Hoven.