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Sociol Health Illn. 2006 Sep;28(6):850-65.

Biobanks, bioethics and concepts of donated blood in the UK.

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  • 1Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD.


In recent years international bioethics bodies have made prominent declarations about the uses of donated tissue and related information in genetic research(1). Following the 'legislative' mode of bioethics(2), these organisations have put forward a number of general principles with a view to promoting the fair and equitable use of donated tissue in such research. However, government policies in this field are shaped differently in different national regimes. In this paper, I use recent debates in the UK about a national genetic 'biobank' to illustrate how the shape and texture of policy discussions surrounding the use of donated blood for genetic research have been built upon a prior national consensus that regarded blood as a public good.

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