Embodied Gifting: Reflections on the Role of Information in Biobank Recruitment

  • Klaus Hoeyer


During the past 15 years, informed consent has become an intensely debated issue surrounding human genetic biobanks. While ethicists typically agree that informed consent is related to respect for autonomy, various ethicists view autonomy differently and hold different views of the underlying mechanisms and values at stake when promoting the use of informed consent. In this chapter I elucidate such differences and contrast them to an alternative vision of the informed consent procedure developed primarily by social scientists studying the political context for research biobanking.With point of departure in an anthropological fieldwork in conjunction to a Swedish research biobank, I evoke a particular version of the alternative image of the agency going into the process of biobank recruitment. I elaborate on this image by way of a literary analogy and argue that it can contribute new dimensions to the ethical debate of research biobank practices.


National Health Service Consent Procedure Healthcare Centre Ethical Debate Alternative Image 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Hoeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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