Co-organised by the Independent Medical Sociology Unit, the Department of Ethics and Human Philosophy and the BBMRI.pl consortium, a national conference titled The Human Body in Scientific Research: Philosophical, Legal and Social Aspects took place at the Medical University of Lublin, Poland, on the 19th and 20th April 2018.
The event attracted over 170 participants from all around the country, including researchers, representatives of governmental institutions, patient associations, and non-governmental organisations operating in health care.
Overall, there were 50 presentations delivered by experts from different fields, including bioethicists, philosophers, lawyers, theologians, psychologists, sociologists, physicians, diagnosticians and researches from thirty different research and scientific institutes and universities.
Revolving around philosophical, ethical, legal and social issues related to the use of the human body and its parts – including cadavers, cells, tissues, organs and other human biological material – in scientific research, the event focussed on moral attitudes towards the human body, sociocultural conditions impacting the perception of the human body (alive and dead) as well as on attitudes shaping decisions regarding the donation of human samples, cells, tissue and organs.
Additionally, the conference dealt with ethical and legal problems related to donor rights, covering a wide range of topics such as informed consent for storing and sharing human biological material, data protection and processing, the provision of information on research results to donors, ownership rights, the commercialisation of human body parts and the sharing of research results. There were also discussions on shaping the responsibilities of researchers, on building trust between researchers, donors and society, and the new GDPR provisions.
Overall, the conference was an excellent opportunity for participants to discuss current issues and the most important topics in biobanking from an interdisciplinary perspective.