Where do all the foreskins go?
"Is it ethical to cut off a baby's foreskin, charge his parents for the operation, sell his foreskin without telling his parents, and keep the money? Is it legal?"
John A. Erickson
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- Foreskins for Sale
"The after market for human foreskin is where the real money is made." (foreskin.org)
- Body Bazaar: The Market for Human Tissue in the Biotechnology Age
"...body parts from the living and the dead are gold mines for pharmaceutical development... infant foreskin removed in circumcisions is used to create new tissue for artificial skin" (Insight on the News)
- Tissue Engineering
"This product, Apligraf, uses foreskin cells from an infant which have not fully developed their identifying proteins. The issue of tissue rejection could potentially be avoided by using these cells as seeds." (The Caltech Undergraduate Research Journal)
- Engineering Human Tissue
"The ultimate source of their skin cells is human infantile foreskins harvested by circumcision... Infant foreskin has more potential for cell division than does that from an adult.." (Steve Alan Edwards)
- $250 - Add to Cart
"Epidermal keratinocytes - pooled, cultures established on collage IV - Derivation: Neonatal foreskins" (Coriell Institute)
- Human Foreskins are Big Business for Cosmetics
"Debate is growing over the ethics of using human foreskins for cosmetic purposes" (Associated Content)
There is ethical guidance on the use of human tissue in research and commerce from the Nuffield Committee on Bioethics. This report suggests an ethical and legal framework for the use of human tissue. It states that tissue must be donated - not sold, the consent of the patient for the future use of the tissue must be obtained, and that consent for tissue removal from children is only valid if it is done for genuine therapeutic reasons not "gratuitous injury".