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Governing the post mortem procurement of human body material for research

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Abstract
Human body material removed post mortem is a particularly valuable resource for research. Considering the efforts that are currently being made to study the biochemical processes and possible genetic causes that underlie cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, it is likely that this type of research will continue to gain in importance. However, post mortem procurement of human body material for research raises specific ethical concerns, more in particular with regard to the consent of the research participant. In this paper, we attempt to determine which consent regime should govern the post mortem procurement of body material for research. In order to do so, we assess the various arguments that could be put forward in support of a duty to make body material available for research purposes after death. We argue that this duty does in practice not support conscription but is sufficiently strong to defend a policy of presumed rather than explicit consent.
Keywords
CADAVERIC ORGANS, BIOMEDICAL-RESEARCH, MORAL DUTY, TRANSPLANTATION, PARTICIPATION, INTERESTS, SUBJECT, CONSENT, ETHICS, DEAD

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Citation

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Chicago
Van Assche, Kristof, Laura Capitaine, Guido Pennings, and Sigrid Sterckx. 2015. “Governing the Post Mortem Procurement of Human Body Material for Research.” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 25 (1): 67–88.
APA
Van Assche, Kristof, Capitaine, L., Pennings, G., & Sterckx, S. (2015). Governing the post mortem procurement of human body material for research. KENNEDY INSTITUTE OF ETHICS JOURNAL, 25(1), 67–88.
Vancouver
1.
Van Assche K, Capitaine L, Pennings G, Sterckx S. Governing the post mortem procurement of human body material for research. KENNEDY INSTITUTE OF ETHICS JOURNAL. 2015;25(1):67–88.
MLA
Van Assche, Kristof et al. “Governing the Post Mortem Procurement of Human Body Material for Research.” KENNEDY INSTITUTE OF ETHICS JOURNAL 25.1 (2015): 67–88. Print.
@article{5638197,
  abstract     = {Human body material removed post mortem is a particularly valuable resource for research. Considering the efforts that are currently being made to study the biochemical processes and possible genetic causes that underlie cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, it is likely that this type of research will continue to gain in importance. However, post mortem procurement of human body material for research raises specific ethical concerns, more in particular with regard to the consent of the research participant. In this paper, we attempt to determine which consent regime should govern the post mortem procurement of body material for research. In order to do so, we assess the various arguments that could be put forward in support of a duty to make body material available for research purposes after death. We argue that this duty does in practice not support conscription but is sufficiently strong to defend a policy of presumed rather than explicit consent.},
  author       = {Van Assche, Kristof and Capitaine, Laura and Pennings, Guido and Sterckx, Sigrid},
  issn         = {1054-6863},
  journal      = {KENNEDY INSTITUTE OF ETHICS JOURNAL},
  keywords     = {CADAVERIC ORGANS,BIOMEDICAL-RESEARCH,MORAL DUTY,TRANSPLANTATION,PARTICIPATION,INTERESTS,SUBJECT,CONSENT,ETHICS,DEAD},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {67--88},
  title        = {Governing the post mortem procurement of human body material for research},
  volume       = {25},
  year         = {2015},
}

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