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Keywords:

  • informed consent;
  • confidentiality & privacy;
  • regulatory issues;
  • ethics committees;
  • biomedical research

Abstract

Informed consent is recognized as a primary ethical requirement to conduct research involving humans. In the investigations with the use of human biological material, informed consent (IC) assumes a differentiated condition on account of the many future possibilities. This work presents suitable alternatives for IC regarding the storage and use of human biological material in research, according to new Brazilian regulations. Both norms – Resolution 441/11 of the National Health Council, approved on 12 May 2011, and Ordinance 2.201 (NATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR BIOREPOSITORIES AND BIOBANKS OF HUMAN BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL FOR RESEARCH PURPOSE) of the Brazil Ministry of Health, approved on 14 September 2011 – state that the consent of subjects for the collection, storage and use of samples stored in Biobanks is necessarily established by means of a Free and Informed Consent Form (ICF). In order to obtain individual and formal statements, this form should contain the following two mutually exclusive options: an explanation about the use of the stored material in each research study, and the need for new consent or the waiver thereof when the material is used for a new study. On the other hand, ICF suitable for Biorepositories must be exclusive and related to specific research. Although Brazilian and international regulations identify the main aspects to be included in the IC, efforts are still necessary to improve the consent process, so that the document will become a bond of trust between subject and researcher.