The Ethics Blog

A blog from the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Month: September 2012

Biobanks and alternative energy resources

Last week I participated in HandsOn: Biobanks, an interactive conference exploring the values of biobanking. The warm and collaborative atmosphere made the conference a both moving and encouraging experience. Here is how the conference made me think about the value of biobanks: New techniques of fundamental importance to humanity tend to appear in proportion to […]

No consent for maintaining high-quality health care?

Collecting biological samples and health information from healthy donors in the construction of biobanks and research registers obviously requires the donors’ informed consent. But is a similar demand for consent reasonable when patients provide their doctor with samples for diagnosis, undergo medical examination and treatment, and answer the doctor’s questions? Or can patients be expected […]

How unspecific is broad consent?

In response to an informative article on personalized medicine and biobanking in Nature Biotechnology, a recent letter to the Editor defends broad consent for biobanking. The three letter writers emphasize the patient and donor perspective: “…patient donors actually express concern that study-specific consent can be burdensome and impede research.” Given these donors’ desire to give so-called broad […]

Research for the sake of the patient

We regularly tell strangers about sensitive aspects of our lives. We do it every time we visit the doctor. We do it without hesitating, in spite of the fact that the information won’t stay with the doctor to whom we give it. The information is archived and will be read by health care staff in […]

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