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Medical research might face challenges with greater transparency

Jan 31, 2015

A new study shows people are concerned about how their medical samples might be used in medical research. 

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Donated blood, tissue and other body samples play a critical role in medical research

Tom Tomlinson is the director of Michigan State University’s Center for Ethics and Humanities.

He says 68% of people say they’re willing to give blanket consent.  

But that number drops when people are told their samples may be used in controversial research.

“I think it raises of the question of what is the public’s role in making decisions about research priorities,” says Tomlinson.

Tomlinson says greater transparency may make the process more costly for researchers.