Stored Tissue Samples

Stored Tissue Samples

Ethical, Legal, and Public Policy Implications

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392 pages

“Stored human tissue comes in many forms from frozen embryos to dried blood spots to corpses in their entirety. Complex ethical and legal debates are emerging over how best to respect the dignity of tissue sources while fostering the use of samples to dissect human biology. The insightful scholars contributing to Stored Tissue Samples offer wide-ranging and creative analyses of these important issues.”—Jeffrey R. Botkin, director, Genetic Science in Society Program, University of Utah Center for Human Genome Research

“This important collection captures the spectrum of issues raised by our new abilities to glean personal information from the smallest scraps of human tissue. It nicely combines empirical reviews of current practice with philosophical analyses of the issues and usable models for institutional and professional policy. This volume will quickly become a standard reference for this new frontier in bioethics.”—Eric T. Juengst, Center for Biomedical Ethics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University

“The most serious and intractable issues in health law and ethics today are raised by the collection, storage, and future use of tissue samples. Imagine the vast amount of personal information contained in stored tissue samples for the purposes of health care, research, and forensics. This collection of essays provides the first systematic analysis of the powerful dilemmas that arise from the use of stored tissue samples—ranging from informed consent and privacy to research ethics, property rights, and genetic discrimination. This book opens a national dialogue on the ethical, legal, and public policy aspects of stored tissue samples. The book needs to be read in the corridors of NIH and the CDC as well as in all health care and research settings.”—Lawrence O. Gostin, professor of law and codirector, Georgetown/Johns Hopkins Program on Law and Public Health

Countless tissue samples are collected each day from patients in doctors' offices, clinics, and hospitals. Thousands of other samples are provided every day for biomedical research. In addition, numerous men and women in prison and in the military provide samples for purposes they hope will never be realized: conviction for crimes or identification of their bodies at death. In each case the blood, cheek cells, sperm and ova, or other type of tissue collected may be banked in biomedical labs for multiple purposes. The essays in this timely, thought-provoking book investigate the ethical, legal, and policy implications of these practices.