Author(s): Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D.
A scientist supported by both NIH and private sources is tracking down a gene that she believes helps to mediate the process by which the walls of blood vessels begin to accumulate the deposits that lead to occlusion, restricted blood flow, and ultimately to disease. The next step in her research requires obtaining fresh samples of tissue from people being treated for myocardial infarctions and ischemic strokes. She is very hopeful that once she has identified the alleles of the gene associated with the buildup of deposits on arterial walls, a test can be developed and marketed that would identify those individuals with moderate or high cholesterol who are at most risk.
- Should the scientist offer to share whatever royalties she might receive with the donors of the tissue?
- Should the informed consent include information that this research may well have commercial applications, and that the donors of the human biological materials will not share in the profits that might come?