Biobanking in Denmark is regulated via patients' rights laws, data protection laws, and research ethics reviews. Danish law recognizes tissue samples as personal data for purposes of the data protection laws, meaning research with tissue samples may be subject to research ethics review, data protection laws, and patients' rights requirements depending on the circumstances of collection. However, research on information gained through whole genome sequencing is subject only to data protection laws, despite the similarity in the nature of the information. The regulatory framework treats biobank samples collected from patients differently than samples collected from research participants, particularly with respect to autonomy. Importantly, biobanks established for future unspecified research are not subject to research ethics review. Biobank-based research has gained more prominence on the national level recently, and the potential for a less fragmented and more consistent regulatory approach may emerge from this attention.
In living kidney donation, transplant professionals consider the rights of a living kidney donor and recipient to keep their personal health information confidential and the need to disclose this information to the other for informed consent. In incompatible kidney exchange, personal health information from multiple living donors and recipients may affect decision making and outcomes.
We conducted a survey to understand and compare the preferences of potential donors (n = 43), potential recipients (n = 73), and health professionals (n = 41) toward sharing personal health information (in total 157 individuals).
When considering traditional live-donor transplantation, donors and recipients generally agreed that a recipient's health information should be shared with the donor (86 and 80%, respectively) and that a donor's information should be shared with the recipient (97 and 89%, respectively). When considering incompatible kidney exchange, donors and recipients generally agreed that a recipient's information should be shared with all donors and recipients involved in the transplant (85 and 85%, respectively) and that a donor's information should also be shared with all involved (95 and 90%, respectively). These results were contrary to attitudes expressed by transplant professionals, who frequently disagreed about whether such information should be shared.
Future policies and practice could facilitate greater sharing of personal health information in living kidney donation. This requires a consideration of which information is relevant, how to put it in context, and a plan to obtain consent from all concerned.
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