Millions of Taiwanese biobank samples might soon be destructed bacause of lack of participant consent. Read more here.
This illustrates the topic I introduced in my previous blog post, Research ethics in a new situation. The ethical regulation introduced last year in Taiwan was intended to protect human subjects who provided samples to biobanks. But since contacting people in millions long after they provided samples is an expensive and time-consuming process with uncertain result, the actual outcome may be that their samples are destroyed, and thereby also opportunities of future research into common diseases. Ethical regulation and consent procedures clearly create their own ethical problems.