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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The murky morality of biobanking

By Sarah Wild
Mail & Guardian
Originally published September 6, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Yet biobanks are not mentioned in South Africa’s National Health Act of 2003, which governs human tissue usage, for therapies or research. Department of health deputy director general Terence Carter told the Mail & Guardian that workshops are planned to plug holes in the current law and regulations, and that ethicists will be included in these discussions.

This is “a scientific tissue issue, but also a major ethical issue, so we are bringing together the experts in ethics as well as cell technologies and genetics”, Carter said.

A major question in this area is the notion of consent, and what it means to give informed consent.

“Informed consent has different applications,” says the deputy dean of law at the University of South Africa, Professor Melodie Slabbert. “[You have] medical treatments on the one hand, such as between doctor and patient, and research between research participant and researcher on the other … Consent has specific legal requirements for it to be regarded lawful and valid consent.”

The entire article is here.
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