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[Bio-medical][Sci-tech Policy] Bio-data Collecting Program Allures Ethical Controversy

Posted by gustav 
[Bio-medical][Sci-tech Policy] Bio-data Collecting Program Allures Ethical Controversy (Chinese Version)

According to UDN.com (2009/05/12), Taiwan BioBank Program, due to its plan of collecting blood for analysis, stirs up controversy regarding ethics and human rights. On 11th-May, it was heard that in order to get the financially supporting organization Department of Health assured of the program's being so carried out, and the executive organization Academia Sinica of avoiding the likely liquidated damages, the ethic council seemed to be asked for a “favor” in reviewing. Minister of Department of Health Ching-Chuan YEH promised that the investigation according to the accusation will take place, and the human rights will never get harmed.

According to the same report, Taiwan BioBank aims at establishing a large scale and cross-generational diseases analysis archive, individuating the factors of diseases by collecting blood and analyzing the genes in the samples. A few days ago, the ethic council hosted for the program gave approval to the initial project of blood collecting in Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan.

The report repeated the suspicions proposed by President of Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Associate Professor of Department of Civic Education and Leadership, National Taiwan Normal University, Chia-Fan LIN: human blood is important personal information, just like dactylogram. Before the relevant regulations have been well constitutionalized, any blood collecting program may harm the human rights. Ching-ChuanYEH said, human rights will not be harmed, even which may cost the program to be called off. And the issue has to be clarified.

According to the report, the director of the program, Incumbent Director of Institute of BioMedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, M.D. Ph.D. Y.T. CHEN said that the present collecting project is just an initial project, not a large scale blood collecting from two hundred thousands of people, and the collected sample will not be used for DNA analysis. The initial project only aims at understanding the reaction and the feelings of the public about the program, and practicing the conducts of blood storage, data management and information security. He stressed, among the one thousand samples, all the subjects of collection were well-informed of the intents and the purposes of the experiments; ninety percent of them expressed their agreement with the purpose of biobank, i.e., for the health of our posterity; also fifty percent of the subjects were interested in the convenient health check. CHEN said, when reporting to the ethic council, the team indeed once proposed some description about the present difficulties regarding the program execution. The deadline of the contract between Academia Sinica and Department of Health is the end of October. If the program is not determined then, by the contract Academia Sinica will have to return all the fund. According to the team's estimation, in order to complete the collection of seventy-five hundreds of sample, seven stations are at least required. Now there are only two stations, and the following stations will be built in Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan, but the collection will not leap out of this area.

Further Information:
UDN.com 2009/05/12 (Chinese)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2009 10:18AM by gustav.