A walk in the park: a case study in research ethics.
ABSTRACT Can researchers, interested in novel ways to assess HIV seroprevalence among populations which are otherwise hidden, collect condoms that have been discarded on the ground in a public sex environment and test them for HIV? Researchers, who use other types of abandoned samples, such as discarded syringes, hair or saliva samples, or excess biological samples, confront similar issues. This review evaluates whether such abandoned tissues can be studied based on U.S. Code of Federal Regulations and literature on related issues including: research involving banked tissues, blinded seroprevalence studies, and property claims that individuals might make on the samples. It also addresses broader questions of potential for stigma and risk to individuals and communities. The article concludes that the research should be permitted legally because either it does not involve human subjects, or it satisfies the requirements for waiver of consent; and that the research should also be permitted because the ethical principal of avoiding harm to individuals is fully satisfied based on a careful reading of the lessons of the tissue bank, biological property rights, and blinded seroprevalence study debates, as well as a consideration of other potential harms that might be involved.
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ABSTRACT: To compare opinion of surgical inpatients with the conclusions of the report of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics regarding the ownership and uses of human tissue. Survey of results of questionnaires completed by patients. Large teaching hospital. 384 postoperative adult surgical patients. There was strong support among patients for the use of tissues in medical education, research, and science with the exception of those tissues which may transmit disease to others. Few patients (39; 10%) believed that they retained ownership of tissue removed at surgery. Most believed that the tissue belonged to the hospital (103; 27%), to nobody (103; 27%), or to the laboratory (77; 20%). Most patients had not been given any information about the possible uses of their tissues after removal. Surgical inpatients seem to endorse the conclusions of the Nuffield report regarding the ownership and uses of human tissue. The recommendations regarding patient information and consent procedures should be implemented at the earliest opportunity.BMJ 12/1996; 313(7069):1366-8. · 14.09 Impact Factor
Article: Uses and abuses of Tuskegee.Science 06/1999; 284(5416):919-21. · 31.03 Impact Factor
- Canadian Medical Association Journal 07/1991; 144(12):1603-4. · 6.47 Impact Factor