Human tissue biobanks: the balance between consent and the common good

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biobanks are currently archiving human materials for medical research at a hitherto unprecedented rate. These valuable resources will be essential for developing ‘personalized’ medicines and for a better understanding of disease susceptibilities. However, for such scientific advances to benefit everyone, it is crucial that biobanks recruit donations from all sections of the community. Unfortunately, other initiatives, such as transplant programmes, have clearly demonstrated that ethnic minorities are under-represented. Here we suggest that this issue deserves serious consideration to avoid biobanks evolving into ethnically biased archives which unwittingly promote race-specific research. Specifically, this necessitates research ethics committees engaging in a re-assessment of the relative merits of individual personal sovereignty and the common good.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)113-123
Number of pages11
JournalResearch Ethics Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2012


  • Biobanks
  • Ethics, Medical


Dive into the research topics of 'Human tissue biobanks: the balance between consent and the common good'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this