Bio-banking of genetic material and the issue of protection of donor’s personal interests

Journal Title: Medycyna Ogólna i Nauki o Zdrowiu - Year 2012, Vol 18, Issue 3


Bio-banks (tissues and cells banks) store data on donors of genetic material. These data belong to the sphere of privacy, which is a personal interest of the donor. Misuse of these data, in particular their availability, can constitute illegal infringement of personal interests and impair the interests of donors.The article is an overview of the practical and legal issues of protection of personal interests of donors of the genetic material in bio-banking. The author indicates the legal arrangements essential for the protection of the interests of donors of genetic material.Bio-banking may be an infringement of personal interests, and may incur damage to property. The donor may assert non-financial claims (e.g. cessation of infringement), pecuniary claims (compensation) and mixed claims (e.g. pecuniary compensation).The bio-bank has a statutory obligation to maintain superior, proper care of data that identify the donor. Lack of this care will result in legal liability, mostly for negligence. According to the author, the biobank will be responsible for the slightest form of fault (culpa levissima) because of the strict law and the nature of the infringed rights or goods.The author notes that the rendering anonymous of personal data is the best way to protect the interests of donors. It may not, however, be dogmatised. In practice, the principle should be applied that anonymity of information identifying the donor is to be observed wherever such knowledge is not absolutely necessary. It improves the protection of donors and may be a condition of that protection. The legislator should give appropriate expression of this principle.Key words: bio-bank, donor, rendering anonymous, personal data, genetic material, data donors, personal interests, legal protection

Authors and Affiliations

Mariusz Grabowski


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  • EP ID EP68886
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How To Cite

Mariusz Grabowski (2012). Bio-banking of genetic material and the issue of protection of donor’s personal interests. Medycyna Ogólna i Nauki o Zdrowiu, 18(3), 200-205.