NIH in Pact to Protect Privacy of Family, Maintain Research

Ron Winslow reports a settlement in the long-running dispute concerning the use of cancer cells taken from Henrietta Lacks without her consent and then used by researchers for over 60 years:

The National Institutes of Health on Wednesday said it reached an unprecedented agreement to protect the privacy of the family of a woman whose cancer cells have been used as a basis for thousands of medical studies in recent decades.

The pact, which affects researchers’ access to DNA data from laboratory cells derived from the tumor tissue, addresses a thorny issue—how to balance the needs of researchers and the rights of patients when seeking access to scientifically important but potentially sensitive personal medical data.

Read more on The Wall Street Journal.

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