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National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 Human biospecimens submission

This submission reflects the views of
Organisation Name: 
St John of God Health Care
Personal Details
Additional Information
Please identify the best term to describe the Organisation: 
Specific Comments
Use of human biospecimens obtained after death – paragraph 3.4.5
  1. this presents all sorts of logistic difficulties in obtaining consent from the senior available next of kin, and raises further ethical questions:          eg Difficulty in making contact with next of kin and causing undue distress for next of kin.                                                                             eg What would be considered a “discovered wish” ie wish expressed "verbally,” a “written” wish (eg in an advance care plan), etc?                      eg What are the obligations (if any) of a next of kin to follow a deceased’s “discovered wish”?
  2. this may encourage the setting of a wrong precedent whereby researchers rather than requesting consent directly from patients whilst they are still living, may prefer to approach next of kin after patient is deceased, or indeed request a HREC provide a “waiver of consent” instead. Obtaining consent directly from the living source should always be the preferred pathway.

Page reviewed: 3 June, 2013