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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2011;155(26):A3557.

[Ethical review of biobanks in The Netherlands: lessons from the String of Pearls Initiative].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

  • 1Universiteit van Amsterdam, afd. Wijsbegeerte, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. m.boeckhout@uva.nl


Ethical and legal aspects of biobanking continue to be a topic of concern. The String of Pearls Initiative (PSI) helped establish new norms for biobank governance in The Netherlands. This article gives an overview of issues that emerged from the medical-ethical review processes of PSI. The criteria applied to biobanking projects by Ethical Review Boards were derived from the legally prescribed criteria for medical research. However, these criteria were interpreted in radically diverging ways. Key issues included the legal status of prospective research-dedicated biobanks, informed consent, monitoring of the use of biobanks, and alignment of biobanking policies both within and between research departments. The article calls on all actors involved in biobanking to continue to strive for the harmonization of biobanking policies. A certain degree of central coordination is crucial in order to improve on collaborative biobanking initiatives.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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