A new set of recommendations to the Council of Europe member states on the removal, storage and use of biological materials for research purposes was adopted by the Committee of Ministers yesterday.
It takes into account new developments in the field of biobanking, such as the increasingly diverse origin of biological materials stored in collections, the difficulty to guarantee non-identifiability of such samples, the increasing amount of research involving materials coming from different collections, and the importance of research on biomaterials removed from persons not able to consent.
Biomedical research on materials of human origin is a powerful tool to improve human health and healthcare systems, the new legal instrument acknowledges, and the development of collections and cross-border flow of such research materials is increasing. However, this raises questions of the risk for private life of the persons concerned, as well as of the autonomy that these individuals have over their biological materials once they have been removed. (more...)