The ethics of research biobanking: a critical review of the literature.
Biotechnology & genetic engineering reviews 2008; 25: 429-52
Human tissue has been stored and used for research on a regular basis for more than 80 years. During the 1990s, collections of human tissue suddenly became framed as ethical problems in a process reflecting developments in genetic research intertwined with developments in patient rights and steps towards increased commercialization of research. This review describes the process of framing tissue storage as an ethical problem and the solutions proposed in the process. It gives an overview of the academic debate and relates this debate to empirical studies of donor attitudes and interests. It points to the clear discrepancy between the concerns of donors, legislators and ethicists. The academic debate and legislatory action tend to focus on informed consent, and most of the concerns that donors have remain unattended to.
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