Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics



SPECIAL SECTION: ETHICAL LIMITS IN HUMAN SUBJECTS RESEARCH

The Ethics of Biobanks


SVEN OVE  HANSSON  a1
a1 Sven Ove Hansson, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden

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Due to modern biochemistry and, in particular, recent developments in genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics, human samples (organs, tissues, cells, genes, etc.) have become the most important raw materials for advancement in the health sciences. Such material has been at the center of fundamental biomedical research for a long time. What is new is its increased usefulness in research with direct clinical relevance, such as the development of drugs. Because of the larger commercial involvement in such research, this has also led to greater economic interests in human biological material and in the information that can be extracted from it.



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