New biobank law proposed in Finland

New law aims to promote research with human samples in Finland, while protecting the rights of individuals.

Under the new law, researchers would have the right to get information whether a biobank has samples that they could use in research. However, researchers could not access personal donor information for individual samples without a specific agreement.

The sample donor would have the right to information about which research the samples taken from him have been used, from which registers the information about him has been collected, and what has been researched from the samples. The old samples held by healthcare units in Finland could be transferred to the biobanks if the person from whom the sample has been taken does not object.

The biobank law creates a basis for increasing research cooperation related to human samples and provides an opportunity for strengthening supervision and guidance by the authorities. It also strengthens the consent of the sample donor and the evaluation of research ethics.

Source: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health