Geneticization and Biobanking
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Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Polish Sociological Review 2019;205(1):103–117
While biobanks constitute an indispensable source of scientific data, they also generate many concerns related to the ethical, legal and social aspects of acquiring and storing of human biological material, particularly when it comes to the matters of privacy and confidentiality of data and commercialization of research results. It is important as social perception of biobanking may have a bigger impact on the donors than real scientific achievements, while negative images of biobanks may negatively influence the readiness to donate. This, in turn, may impede the functioning of biobanks. Thus, the aim of this paper is to describe the main social anxieties related to gathering and usage of human biological material. Beginning with the concept of geneticization, the paper will tackle the most important social concerns regarding biobanking: creation of a unique genohype, geneticization of diagnostics and identity, the risk of genetic discrimination and commercialization of genetics and gene patenting.
I wish to thank the two anonymous referees for their constructive and insightful suggestions for the improvement of the earlier draft of this paper.
This paper was financed from the project Organization of Polish Biobanking Network within the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure BBMRI-ERIC, supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland (DIR/WK/2017/01).