Tissue Disputes | Publications



Books that Deal with Tissue Disputes

Lori B. Andrews and Dorothy Nelkin
Body Bazaar: The Market for Human Tissue in the Biotechnology Age
(Crown: New York 2001)
The authors argue that permitting the patenting of genes will allow a market to develop where human beings are commercialized. They also provide a look into the future of where the world may end up if society continues on the path of human commercialization.

Michele Goodwin
Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts
(Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2006)
The author examines-through case law and real-life stories-the American organ donation process. In examining the system, the author notes how the current system has, in effect, created a black market for selling organs in the United States and she posits several (somewhat controversial) recommendations to deal with the situation.


Articles that Deal with Tissue Disputes

109th Congress, House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Barton Condemns Lax Enforcement of Ethics at NIH
Press Release
Representative Barton, the Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, condemns the lax enforcement of ethical standards and rules at the National Institutes of Health.

109th Congress, House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Leading NIH Scientist Refuses to Testify in Congressional Investigation
Press Release
Press release from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce noting that Dr. Trey Sunderland - who was being investigated by the House on charges of exploiting public office for personal gain - refused to testify during the hearings. Dr. Sunderland accepted over $500,000 from Pfizer in exchange for government-collected and government-funded tissue samples while he was a researcher at the NIH.

109th Congress, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Commission on Energy and Commerce
Human Tissue Samples: NIH Research Policies and Practices
109th Congress, Serial No. 109-119, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (2006)
House subcommittee report on the policies and practices at the NIH with House Committee findings and recommendations.

Lori B. Andrews
Who Owns Your Body? A Patient's Perspective on Washington Univ. v. Catalona
34 J. Law Med. Ethics 398-407 (2006)
The author discusses the case in which a university sued one of its former researchers, asserting unprecedented ownership claims over tissue provided by men who had participated in research studies over the years. The patients intervened in the case, objecting to the ownership claims over their tissue.

John Burklow, Spokesman, NIH Office of the Director
NIH Statement Regarding House Hearing on Human Tissue Samples
NIH Office of the Director, June 13, 2006
Response by the National Institutes of Health to the hearings concerning Dr. Sunderland's unethical sharing of government collected and government funded tissue samples to Pfizer at the same time he was accepting consulting fees and travel expenses from the company.

Rex Dalton
When Two Tribes Go to War
430 Nature 500-02, July 29, 2004
The author chronicles the events that led to the Havasupai Tribe filing a lawsuit against researchers at Arizona State University and other universities in the United States. Although the researchers had obtained permission to conduct diabetes research, they used the Tribe's blood samples for various other studies and research without consent. When the Tribe found out, the relationship soured and litigation-still pending over five years later-ensued.

Rebecca Skloot
Taking the Least of You
New York Times, April 16, 2006
This article begins with the story of Ted Slavin, the man whose cells were instrumental in developing a vaccine for Hepatitis B, and who was one of the first people to consciously decide to maintain control of any of his cell samples. The article focuses on the state of the tissue industrial complex and looks at the ramifications and arguments both for and against it.

Nature (editorial)
Tribal Culture Versus Genetics
430 Nature 489, July 29, 2004
This editorial looks at the dispute between Native American tribes and researchers over genetics and concludes that both sides should look to the benefits that collaboration would bring and work toward a mutually agreeable solution, rather than the current acrimonious and inharmonious situation.

News in Brief
NIH Researcher Confesses to Breach of Ethics
444 Nature 802, Dec. 14, 2006
This news brief notes that Dr. Sunderland, accused of conflicts of interest, struck a deal with federal prosecutors. He agreed to two years of probation, 400 hours of community service and a fine to be set by the judge. Additionally, Sunderland agreed to repay the government $300,000 in fees and travel expenses he collected from Pfizer.

Michael Powell and David Segal
In New York, a Grisly Traffic in Body Parts
Washington Post, January 28, 2006
This article discusses the black market in human body parts and tissue. The article is based on a scandal involving Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS). Over several years, BTS harvested tissues and organs from cadavers without consent from the person or the next of kin and then sold those tissues to hospitals across the United States. The article raises concern regarding the oversight and safety of the entire tissue and organ donor program.

Paul Rubin
Indian Givers
Phoenix New Times, May 27, 2004
This articles details how the Havasupai Tribe-through Carlotta Tilousi, one of its members-found out that researchers at Arizona State University had used blood samples from the Tribe to conduct research, even though the Tribe had not consented. Much of the research contradicted deeply held tribal beliefs. Additionally, the article discusses the Tribe's court actions to regain their tissue samples.

David Willman
Case Study: Dr. P. Trey Sunderland III; $508,050 from Pfizer, but No "Outside Positions to Note"
Los Angeles Times, Dec. 22, 2004, at A26
This article gives background on the case of Dr. Trey Sunderland. Dr. Sunderland was a researcher at the NIH, but during the course of his duties failed to disclose a relationship with the drug company Pfizer. Dr. Sunderland's failure to disclose directly contravened NIH policy.


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