The use of human tissue

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 4 (2):119-127 (2007)
The use of human tissue raises ethical issues of great concern to health care professionals, biomedical researchers, ethics committees, tissue banks and policy makers because of the heightened importance given to informed consent and patient autonomy. The debate has been intensified by high profile scandals such as the “baby hearts” debacle and revelations about the retention of human brains in neuropathology laboratories worldwide. Respect for patient’s rights seems, however, to impede research and development of clinical knowledge in contemporary health care. The Common clinical endeavour argument and a Presumption for beneficial use argument suggest that the use of tissues for research and teaching in contemporary health care can respect patients and their values in multicultural communities where there are provisions for oversight and for opting not to contribute, both of which should respect the diverse views of different ethnic or cultural groups.
Keywords Tissue and organ procurement  Personal autonomy  Informed consent  Legal guardians  Tissue banks
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DOI 10.1007/s11673-007-9057-2
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