Can human tissues be used in the lab by scientists? by Fred Meckler

[ By on December 18, 2016 ]

Can human tissues be used in the lab by scientists? All the time, Scientists are using human tissues to diagnose diseases and conduct experiments. Sometimes, scientists do ethically questionable or inappropriate things with the human tissues they create. None of these ethical cases are more well known than HeLa cells. While HeLa cells proved invaluable for the advancement of science, the family of Henrietta Lacks was never notified nor compensated for the sacrifice that the family has made for the benefit of science and for all humans.

How do we approach human tissues in a scientific lab? Should we ned approach these tissues with more respect than animal tissues or is there no moral distinction between animal tissues and human tissues? How do we treat both of these groups of tissues with respect? Does science have a right to use human tissue or animal tissue? What right does the patient or the next of kin have to the cells / tissue or data that may come from a unique specimen? What framework can we apply to allow us to better understand this issue?

http://www.nature.com/news/deal-done-over-hela-cell-line-1.13511

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