New Rules Ease Consent Requirements for Scientists Using Patient Specimens

January 19, 2017

(STAT News) – Scientists spoke, the feds listened: With only two days left in office, the Obama administration on Wednesday issued new rules intended to protect people who participate in scientific research, stepping back from proposals that would have imposed significant new regulatory requirements on scientists. In particular, the administration abandoned a proposal that would have required researchers to obtain written consent before using cells, blood, tumor samples, DNA, or other “biospecimens” obtained during medical procedures, even when the samples were stripped of the person’s name and other identifying information, or obtained from earlier studies the person had participated in.