Cancer patient perceptions on the ethical and legal issues related to biobanking

Zubin Master, Jaime O. Claudio, Christen Rachul, Jean C.Y. Wang, Mark D. Minden, Timothy Caulfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Understanding the perception of patients on research ethics issues related to biobanking is important to enrich ethical discourse and help inform policy. Methods. We examined the views of leukemia patients undergoing treatment in clinics located in the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. An initial written survey was provided to 100 patients (64.1% response rate) followed by a follow-up survey (62.5% response rate) covering the topics of informed consent, withdrawal, anonymity, incidental findings and the return of results, ownership, and trust. Results: The majority (59.6%) preferred one-time consent, 30.3% desired a tiered consent approach that provides multiple options, and 10.1% preferred re-consent for future research. When asked different questions on re-consent, most (58%) reported that re-consent was a waste of time and money, but 51.7% indicated they would feel respected and involved if asked to re-consent. The majority of patients (62.2%) stated they had a right to withdraw their consent, but many changed their mind in the follow-up survey explaining that they should not have the right to withdraw consent. Nearly all of the patients (98%) desired being informed of incidental health findings and explained that the information was useful. Of these, 67.3% of patients preferred that researchers inform them and their doctors of the results. The majority of patients (62.2%) stated that the research institution owns the samples whereas 19.4% stated that the participants owned their samples. Patients had a great deal of trust in doctors, hospitals and government-funded university researchers, moderate levels of trust for provincial governments and industry-funded university researchers, and low levels of trust towards industry and insurance companies. Conclusions: Many cancer patients surveyed preferred a one-time consent although others desired some form of control. The majority of participants wanted a continuing right to withdraw consent and nearly all wanted to be informed of incidental findings related to their health. Patients had a great deal of trust in their medical professionals and publically-funded researchers as opposed to profit-based industries and insurance companies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalBMC medical genomics
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 12 2013

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Anonymity
  • Biobank
  • Cancer patient perspectives
  • Consent
  • Incidental findings
  • Ownership
  • Return of results
  • Tissue repository
  • Trust
  • Withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Master, Z., Claudio, J. O., Rachul, C., Wang, J. C. Y., Minden, M. D., & Caulfield, T. (2013). Cancer patient perceptions on the ethical and legal issues related to biobanking. BMC medical genomics, 6(1), [8]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1755-8794-6-8