Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Med Ethics. 2010 Oct;36(10):608-13. doi: 10.1136/jme.2010.036608. Epub 2010 Jul 29.

Without 'informed consent'? Ethics and ancient mummy research.

Author information

1
University Research Priority Program, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Ethical issues are of foremost importance in modern bio-medical science. Ethical guidelines and socio-cultural public awareness exist for modern samples, whereas for ancient mummy studies both are de facto lacking. This is particularly striking considering the fact that examinations are done without informed consent or that the investigations are invasive due to technological aspects and that it affects personality traits. The aim of this study is to show the pro and contra arguments of ancient mummy research from an ethical point of view with a particular focus on the various stakeholders involved in this research. Relevant stakeholders in addition to the examined individual are, for example, a particular researcher, and the science community in general, likely descendents of the mummy or any future generation. Our broad discussion of the moral dilemma of mummy research should help to extract relevant decision-making criteria for any such study in future. We specifically do not make any recommendations about how to rate these decision-factors, since this is highly dependent on temporal and cultural affiliations of the involved researcher. The sustainability of modern mummy research is dependent on ethical orientation, which can only be given and eventually settled in an interdisciplinary approach such as the one we attempt to present here.

PMID:
20671292
DOI:
10.1136/jme.2010.036608
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for Zurich Open Access Repository and Archive
Loading ...
Support Center