Legal issues surrounding French research-focused biobanks

Virginie Commin

in Human Tissue Research

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199587551
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725630 | DOI:
Legal issues surrounding French research-focused biobanks

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This chapter investigates the French legal framework for human tissue research. Although the law does not explicitly call biobanks by name, the legislator nevertheless provided them with a rather interconnected legal framework just recently. The chapter concentrates on the specific technical rules related to the activities of biobanks. (On which conditions can a biobank be established? On which conditions can samples be given thereto?) On the other hand, the chapter points out that the big principles of ‘French-style’ bioethics can be applied to biobanks: the non-property principle, and informed consent and data confidentiality principles. In this vein, the French legislator grasps and answers the main part of the questions raised and paves the way for a sustained activity of biobanks in France. In spite of this dense legal framework, it is argued that, up until now, the law has not anticipated all the questions arising from the practice of biobanks, notably the rights of donors such as an on-going control on the use of biological material and associated data they donated for research purposes, as well as the researchers' right to access biobanks, and current issues related to ownership.

Keywords: access; property issues; informed consent; data confidentiality; on-going control

Chapter.  5285 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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