Contemporary ethical issues in human milk-banking in the United States

Donna J. Miracle, Kinga A. Szucs, Alexia M. Torke, Paul R. Helft

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1191
Number of pages6
JournalPediatrics
Volume128
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Keywords

  • Ethics
  • Human
  • Informed consent
  • Medical
  • Milk
  • Milk banks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Contemporary ethical issues in human milk-banking in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this