The Open UniversitySkip to content

The biobank as an ethical subject

Cordell, Sean (2011). The biobank as an ethical subject. Health Care Analysis, 19(3) pp. 282–294.

Full text available as:
Full text not publicly available (Version of Record)
Due to publisher licensing restrictions, this file is not available for public download
Click here to request a copy from the OU Author.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This paper argues that a certain way of thinking about the function of the biobank—about what it does and is constructed for as a social institution aimed at ‘some good’—can and should play a substantial role in an effective biobanking ethic. It first exemplifies an ‘institution shaped gap’ in the current field of biobanking ethics. Next the biobank is conceptualized as a social institution that is apt for a certain kind of purposive functional definition such that we know it by what it does and what it is designed to do. This purpose is then characterized further as essentially incorporating the human goods the institution is designed to serve, such that it plays a useful and indispensible role in how it should operate, i.e. in the ethics and governance of biobanking. Finally the ethical scope and limitations of such a theory is clarified by a discussion of some theoretical objections and suggested practical examples of its application.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
ISSN: 1573-3394
Keywords: biobanks; biobanking; function; ethics; institutions
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 38689
Depositing User: Sean Cordell
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2013 16:00
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2019 15:59
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU