Legal and Ethical Issues in Brain Banking
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The legal and ethical issues in brain banking are numerous. The post-mortem removal and retention of organs as well as research with human tissue and genetic information, have posed various dilemmas in the fields of law and ethics. Due to the relative novelty of these issues, the law is often lacking in clear instructions and unambiguous guidelines. The ethical problems specifically involving post-mortem cell and tissue banking for research purposes are not always specifically taken into account. This means that a brain bank frequently does not qualify for a certain well-defined legal regime. Because of this and the fact that the existing regimes differ significantly throughout the world, many uncertainties arise for the initiation and management of brain banks. Guidelines on informed consent, confidentiality, financial sustainability, accountability, and transparency are conditions sine qua non for the good conduct of a professional brain bank and are briefly highlighted.
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