The principle of solidarity and its relevance for tissue research

Published on August 31, 2015   37 min
0:00
AUDIENCE: Hello, my name is Barbara Prainsack. I'm a professor at the Department of Social Science, Health, and Medicine at King's College, London. As a department, we look at all the ways in which health is more than a medical matter. We're an interdisciplinary department. And my own work focuses on societal, ethical, and regulatory aspects of DNA testing and DNA databasing, specifically.
0:27
What I will talk about today are some of the societal challenges in and for tissue research and how the concept of solidarity can potentially help us address some of those challenges. I will start by outlining some of the challenges. Then I will say a few words about the concept of solidarity. And I will also say a few things about the meaning of solidarity vis-a-vis other related concepts, such as altruism or reciprocity. And as a third step, I will outline if solidarity can help us in addressing those challenges, how it can help us to do so.
1:10
As many people would know, tissue research is one of the key fields of medical research and actually medicine. Almost every aspect of medicine relies on tissue research in one way or another. And while it is difficult to delineate the field of tissue research precisely, there are several ways in which we can classify tissue research. One way of classifying it would be to look at the types of tissue that are being used, including blood, bone, ova, eggs, embryos, fetal tissue, neural tissue, or even whole organs. Another way of classifying tissue research would be to look at what the tissue is used for. And in terms of research, it could be used, for example, in the field of drug development, where as we know animal studies have findings that cannot be directly transposed to clinical applications for humans. So that would be one area in which tissue is used for research. But there are, of course, other uses, so that is the second type of classifying tissue research. Another type would be to look at whether the tissue is a byproduct of clinical practice or whether it was collected and stored for research purposes explicitly. And another way of classifying it would be according to what people the issue comes from, what type of person. Would it be living people? Or would it be tissue from deceased people?
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The principle of solidarity and its relevance for tissue research

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