Reciprocity, trust, and public interest in research biobanking: in search of a balance

Nadja K. Kanellopoulou

in Human Tissue Research

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199587551
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725630 | DOI:
Reciprocity, trust, and public interest in research biobanking: in search of a balance

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The UK legal framework for research biobanking is central to this chapter. The chapter discusses normative paradoxes in the governance of human biological material in research. It points out that research initiatives, such as UK Biobank and Generation Scotland, operate for the public good. As public awareness of the value of human tissue in modern research increases, the chapter asks how documented shifts of its biovalue affect public willingness to contribute to research. It contrasts regulatory emphasis on altruism and genetic solidarity in the UK with emerging reciprocal models for responsible biobanking. The chapter considers whether it is sustainable to regulate research on the basis that participants do not maintain an interest in the use of samples or the information they contain. It calls for an optimal balance between such interests and considerations of social responsibility, thereby placing the role of the law in broader social, ethical, and economic context.

Keywords: altruism; biobanking; biovalue; human tissue; public good; reciprocity; solidarity

Chapter.  5109 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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