Blood, blood products and stem cells may only be used for medical treatment, training and scientific research purposes.
This is highlighted in a draft law on blood and stem cells recently released by the Ministry of Health for public comments.
Stem cell research in a laboratory of the University of Science, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City__Photo: Internet
The draft underlines all activities involving blood and stem cells must adhere to the principles of humanity and voluntariness and ensure confidentiality of information relating to, as well as safety of, blood and stem cell donors and recipients.
To facilitate stem cell transplants in the country, the draft law permits the establishment of stem cell banks by non-state entities, in addition to state-run national and regional stem cell centers. However, the draft law does not specify such issue but assigns the Government to stipulate in detail the competence and procedures for licensing the establishment and operation of stem cell banks.
Under the draft law, stem cell research must be considered, evaluated and permitted by grassroots ethics councils or the Ministry of Health’s Council for Ethics in Medical and Biological Research before being conducted. Particularly for stem cell clinical research and application, approval from the ministerial council would be required. Meanwhile, those who wish to use stem cells in medical examination and treatment or beauty care would have to seek permission from the Minister of Health.
For ethical reasons, the draft strictly prohibits acts of creating embryos for use in stem cell research or medical treatment; implanting embryos into a woman’s body and then conducting abortion to get fetuses or fetal tissues; and conducting cloning to get stem cells, except cases of growing stem cells for medical treatment or research.
Advertisements for blood and blood products as well as the use of stem cells in medical examination and treatment and beauty care without the Ministry of Health’s approval are also banned.
The 27-article draft, which is now in its first version, provides for mobilization for blood and stem cell donation; management and use of blood, blood products and stem cells; and blood and stem cell import and export.-(VLLF)