Praxis of donor information in the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS-cells) research


Ethical standards for informed consent in the research on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells)

In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Michael Kühl
Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Ulm University

In recent years, the biomedical research on iPS cells received high attention in the public’s interest. Both great expectations for therapeutic use as well as deep ethical reflections are linked to this area of medical research. The ethical risks for donors should be a topic of public discussion. Specifically, the discussion should revolve around the question what happens with the donated cell material. It is possible that donated cells will be used for purposes that were not an object of initial donor information and consent. These purposes could involve subsequent studies, within the framework of which, the donated cell material will be used. Hence, the praxis of donor information, donor consent and specific implementation of these aspects come into the focus of medical ethics. At the moment, there are no binding standards regulating the process of donor information and consent in the context of iPS research.

The aim of the research project is to analyze the praxis of donor information. For this purpose, in the first phase of the study, research ethics documentation, specialist publications and normative sources for the praxis of donor information in the iPS research will be evaluated. In the following step, the specific praxis of donor information in the iPS research will be identified. To that end, expert interviews with clinical researchers will be conducted. The results of this project will provide a foundation for development of standards for donor information and specific implementation of donor consent.

Project lead: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Florian Steger
Project researcher: Dr. Marcin Orzechowski
Duration: 2017–2018