Rules for donations to tissue banks–what next?

- N Engl J Med
Author/s: -Glantz, L. -Roche, P. -Annas, G. J.
Journal: N Engl J Med
Year: 2008
Volume: 358
Issue: 3
Pages: 298-303

Michael Crichton’s Next 1 is a fictional creation of multiple catastrophes emanating from the real-life case of John Moore, in which the California Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that Moore did not own his cells after they were removed from his body.2 As human tissue has become commercially useful, and as tissue banks storing and providing samples for research have flourished, the question of who owns the tissue has become more vital. Next got mixed reviews, but even many scientists, such as Michael Goldman, who reviewed the book in Nature, agree with Crichton that it is imperative that we “establish clear guidelines for the use of human tissue” in medical research.3 Legal opinions from Florida4 and, most recently, Missouri5 supplement the Moore case and together provide a foundation on which to build these guidelines.