PredictER's Peter H. Schwartz will be presenting the Walter C. Randall Lecture in Biomedical Ethics at the annual Experimental Biology meeting of the American Physiological Society, to be held in New Orleans, April 18-22, 2009. Dr. Schwartz's talk, Consent and Conversation in Population-Based Genetic Research, will take place on Tuesday, April 21st at 2:00 p.m. Additional information is available here.
Abstract: The future of research into the human genome depends on the creation of massive biobanks, databases that combine phenotypic information about individuals (such as their medical history) with genetic information and biologic samples collected from them. Some of the most important biobanks will involve the participation of thousands or millions of people, representing a broad swath of an entire community. But signing up such large numbers raises serious challenges for traditional ideas of consent by research subjects. We need to formulate a new model of ethical research that relies on a conversation with a community rather than just informed consent by individuals.
Amy Lewis Gilbert