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Uses of Human Organs and Tissues

Anatomical model of the human brain
Organ donation, transplantation and biobanking raise important philosophical questions and practical and policy issues.

Human organs and tissues may be used in various ways for medical science, both research and therapy. There are ethical questions related to many aspects of such uses. A growing concern in medicine relates to organ donation and transplantation, and how this should be implemented and regulated to the greatest benefit in the current situation of a severe shortage of donor organs, but also in light of ethical concerns related to the procedures involved and to possible exploitation of donors. Another area of particular interest is that of biobanking: the collection and storage of tissues for research and possibly for therapy. What structures are needed to safeguard the interests of those involved, and what uses of stored tissue should be permitted? Our research involves both of these areas and examines both philosophical questions (such as what rights should exist in human body parts) and practical and policy issues (for example the impact of different regulatory systems on biobanking and organ transplantation).

Researchers working in this area include: