Re: Blocks for sale - reply

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You are quite right. Moore didn't go any higher than the California Supreme
Court and because the final decision was reached at State level, is
presumably no more than persuasive in other US States, but it is a final
decision. I seem to recall that the Courts in Moore were not happy with the
sharp practice exhibited by the clinician, they thought he should have
obtained his patients consent. Moore prompted the Nuffield Council Report
which laid similar stress on consent. In a way this isn't surprising. Consent
is the other side of the coin to "property". With consent it doesn't matter
whether tissue legally belongs to the patient or not. When a patients consent
to a particular usage of their tissues is obtained (other than diagnostic
pathology which is assumed), the issue of property rights in human tissues is
a dead letter. Given that the law in this area is still incomplete and
difficult, consent makes it easier for patients, lawyers, judges and doctors

Given the above, I wonder how we fare with those surgical tissues from which
we obtain our controls? If informed consent is the burning issue, have we
(path labs) the right to take anything other than tissues for diagnostic
purposes from surgical specimens?  I know that the Royal College says we can
take excess anonymous tissue for research (etc?), but its the College saying
it and not patients.
Its probably not important, unless and until a patient finds out and objects.
Happy thought.



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