Managing the ethical issues of genomic research using pathology specimens
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Biobanks of human biospecimens involving tissue taken from surgery require close relationships with diagnostic pathology practices. As most of the tissue will be analysed using genetic or genomic technologies there is the possibility that new information is created that could be of relevance to the donors. Although attention has been recently focused on the responsibilities that may arise from researchers and biobanks in terms of giving back individual genetic research results (IGRRs) to research participants, little has been said in relation to the role of pathology services. In this Commentary, we summarise the issues with respect to pathology services and what guidelines and professional practice documents say about their responsibilities. We also provide points to consider in the development of an ethically defensible plan for giving back individual research results.
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