Objectives: To explore the views of lay and professional stakeholders about the donation of cord blood to public banks in England and the policies surrounding it.
Methods: Qualitative in-depth interviews were undertaken between April 2009 and August 2010 with 62 participants based in England who play a key role in cord blood banking and therapy. All interviews were recorded, transcribed in full, and coded and analysed thematically.
Results: Participants claimed pregnant women had a right to know of the value of cord blood. This highlighted the flaws of the existing donation infrastructure, which was portrayed as playing a
significant role in determining public health. Participants called for a right to donate cord blood to readdress the inequity in healthcare services for pregnant women and transplant recipients. Donors maintained a sense of right over their donation when they discussed cord blood donation as potentially benefiting their family as well as society.
Conclusion: In order to keep receiving donated body parts, tissue and blood, there is a need to take into account the way in which donation operates within a prevalent 'rights' discourse.