In the Ruins of Babel: Should Biobank Regulations be Harmonized?
The current thrust toward greater integration and harmonization of transnational biobank regulations is analyzed with analogical reference to the Tower of Babel account in The Book of Genesis. Raising the question whether biobank regulations should be harmonized, we distinguish between three types of research biobanks: local, regional, and international biobanks. The question is critically addressed in terms of the social and ethical robustness of such regulations. Our conclusion is that current proposals for integrating and harmonizing research biobanking in an increasingly international and industrial context are not socially and ethically robust. Rather, they amplify the inherent problems arising from this challenging task.
KeywordsMedical Research Ethic Norwegian Research Council Robust Knowledge Research Biobanking Human Biological Material
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