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Table: Doing Human-Tissue Research Ethically

The major conclusions and recommendations reached by President Clinton's bioethics commission in July, 1999

-- Current regulations on human-tissue research "are inadequate to ensure the ethical use of human biological materials in research."

-- Research on coded or identified tissue samples should fall under the same rules as research on human subjects.

-- Patients' consent for use of their tissues must be obtained separately from consent for medical procedures.

-- Results of human-tissue research should be disclosed to subjects only if the findings have important implications for the subjects' health and if there is a treatment available to address those implications.

-- The National Institutes of Health and others should continue efforts to educate researchers about the ethical issues relating to human-tissue research.

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