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QLD Australian Law - Advertising Wet Nurse Jobs?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Nursemaid, 11 April 2016.

  1. Nursemaid

    Nursemaid Member

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    Being a wet nurse was a common job many years ago in a variety of cultures, so please don't get all squeamish and weird on me, ok?

    I am in a position to offer breastmilk to babies who need it. I have joined a milk bank and I donate, but in addition, I have been asked by a mum who has feeding issues if I would wet nurse her baby privately, with her paying me a fee.

    I am aware based on as much research I can find, that the sale of human milk is classed as selling body parts, which is illegal in AU. Of course, it would be nice to be renumerated for my time, travel and my expenses etc, but I don't want to get into legal trouble for doing so.

    If it came to the point where I wanted to advertise my services to others in the same situation as this lady, I am worried I might be arrested for sale of human parts! I don't want that, I just want to help people who need it.

    My general questions / thoughts are:

    Can I advertise under Australian Law or is that too risky?
    Can I accept a gift, voucher, gift card etc instead of money or is that still the same as being paid ?

    Note at this stage, my questions are not related to contracts and fine details, I would get to that level of detail later if things went ahead. I am specifically asking if I can even look towards getting an arrangement off the ground first, before I do anything else, so please don't ask if I have a contract in place, etc, we are nowhere near that far advanced.

    Thank you for any mature answers that you can offer.
     
  2. Lance

    Lance Well-Known Member

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    While it doesn't explicitly say breast milk in legislation, it does say tissue is a substance extracted from a part of the body. So the definition is in the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979 and it states that trading in tissue is selling, agreeing to sell, offering to sell, holding out as being willing to sell, or inquiring whether a person is willing to buy the tissue:

    So in accordance with the Act it would be an offence to advertise your service. Saying that if you were a person who owned a tissue bank you could charge an amount to recover costs. That is detailed in section 42A. I'm not sure how you go about owning a tissue bank, but I hope the information I have provided makes things a little clearer for you.
     
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Interesting questions.

    I'm not a doctor and not lawyer, but the definition of tissue is in question.

    I'm not not sure of the legal definition of tissue, but believe the act would not prevent wet nursing.

    Breast milk is not tissue (connective substance attached to the body) and is designed to be expressed from the body, unlike body organs and parts.

    Would like to know if there are any lawyers here who have dealt with this issue.

    BTW, a blood test should be done for infectious diseases (Hep, HIV etc).
     
  4. Lance

    Lance Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but the definition says tissue is any substance extracted from a part of the body (I'm paraphrasing). The intent isn't to stop wet nursing but it does prohibit the sale of breast milk (tissue by definition). Even if we don't agree, we can only rely on the definition contained in the respective legislation.

    I'm happy if someone takes a different legislative interpretation of the definition in the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    So, the breast milk is not sold, and a service is provided (eg per hr instead of per ml).
     

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