Editor's Choice

Consent for research on stored body samples

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7365.0/h (Published 21 September 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:h

Sometimes intellectual debates can become very emotional very quickly. Twice I've been involved in something close to a shouting match over whether it is acceptable to test stored body specimens without consent. The word “Nazi” was soon used, and the beliefs of protagonists diverged rather than converged. As testing specimens that have been kept is common practice, we thought we ought to commission a debate.

As a prelude to the debate we have some data. Birgitta Stegmayr and Kjell Asplund went back to people who had participated in research 10 years earlier and asked for consent for genetic research on their stored …

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