The requirement of informed consent is central to research ethics. Translational stem cell research is one of those areas, however, where the choice to donate biological material is not likely to satisfy the criteria for a truly informed consent, due to the uncertainties about possible future research applications. The question arises whether so called broad consent, where the individual authorizes research usages that are specified only in rather broad terms, may morally legitimize the relevant research. This chapter argues that in order to settle this question, one first needs to adress certain other questions, in particular what the moral reasons are for requiring informed consent in the first place.
KeywordsAutonomy Biobanks Broad consent Informed consent Research ethics
An earlier draft of this chapter was presented at a workshop arranged by the Vårdal Institute, The Swedish Institute for Health Sciences. We are especially grateful to Barbro Krevers and Daniel Ekeblom for valuable comments.
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