, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 293-299
Date: 29 Jan 2009

The importance of the values attached to cells for a good informed consent procedure in cell donation for tissue engineering purposes

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Abstract

In this article the scope and contents of informed consent for cell donation in tissue engineering are discussed. We evaluate the various values donors may attach to cells and that may influence their decision to donate. Awareness of the various meanings of the value of the cells is therefore essential for all involved in cell transfer. We discuss four types of value: biological, relational, material and informational value and discuss their relevance for collection, for the relationships that are established between donor and cell collector and for informed consent procedures. The actual setting of cell donation and the contents of informed consent can either maintain or disrupt these relationships. While one can exclude donors from any further say in the destination of their cells and from any financial return, one cannot exclude them from a persistent interest in the genetic information of the cells.