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'Treat Donors as Partners in Biobank Research'

20.10.2011 10:16

Proposed changes to US rules that protect research subjects will impede progress, say Krishanu Saha and J. Benjamin Hurlbut in Nature. They argue for a system that makes participants partners in research and gives them more say in how samples are used.

The public has until 26 October to comment on the National Institutes of Health’s proposed changes to the Common Rule, which would encourage a one-size-fits-all approach in which participants provide open-ended consent for research on their biospecimens and data. As a result, researchers could use their samples for additional projects without seeking re-consent. Although the changes may seem to reduce administrative complexity, Saha and Hurlbut believe that they will decrease, not increase, public participation in biobanks and fail to protect participants’ rights.

Nature article (not open access)