Governance of research biobanks in Latvia: Ethical and social aspects

Keywords: research ethics, bioethics, research biobanks, society, informed consent, science communication
Language: In Latvian

Research biobanks are repositories of biological samples and data, which play a key role in the development of a modern science infrastructure. Their activities not only enable significant research in biology and medicine, but also create numerous ethical problems related to obtaining consent from biobank donors, protection of personal data, transparency of biobank activities and assessment of the proportion of risks and benefits.

Therefore, it is essential to ensure ethically and socially responsible management of biobanks in order to protect the rights of biobank donors, to develop ethical guidelines, to address the challenges, and to develop policies that are relevant to the needs of all involved parties. The purpose of the article is to identify, on the basis of empirical data, the main areas for management of socially and ethically responsible research biobanks in Latvia. The article is based on the results of the project, where a group of researchers conducted surveys of the public, biobank donors, and scientists, as well as 40 quality interviews with biobank donors and scientists.