Ethics & Engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes

Featured Project: Ethical concerns over the analysis and storage of excised human lung tissue: A surgical health care worker’s perspective

Khadija Khan is a 2016 GHBN Bursary Fellow


Khadija Khan started at K-RITH in September 2014 as the Biorepository Manager. She will graduate with her Masters of Applied Science in September 2016 and has research experience in the field of molecular biology. She is responsible for overseeing the state-of-the-art biobanking facility and the processing laboratory operations, providing researchers with specimen acquisition, long term storage of clinical specimens, and local and international logistical coordination of clinical specimens from various sites. This includes liaising with national and international regulatory bodies to facilitate the transfer and release of clinical research specimens. She is currently assisting with the LIMS and data interfacing project which will provide researchers with consolidated datasets linking specimen processing and biobanking data to patient clinical information. 

Project Outline

Title: Ethical concerns over the analysis and storage of excised human lung tissue: A surgical health care worker’s perspective

The informed consent process is an essential tool to facilitate the surgical treatment of disease. Traditionally, this interaction occurs between the surgeon and patient, with the expected outcomes, surgical complications and alternatives to surgery discussed. When this process occurs in conjunction with consent for basic science research that utilises the excised surgical tissue, the potential exists for angst on the part of the patient and suspicion regarding the true motives of either intervention. This now sets the scene for a complex patient-doctor-researcher interaction which may compromise the ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence and maleficence. The aim of the study is to investigate health practitioners concerns around the impact of the consent process for (a) surgical procedures, (b) recruiting patients who are awaiting surgical procedures into clinical research studies and (c) factors surrounding the recruitment process that may influence a patient’s decision to participate in either option a or b above from a health care practitioners perspective. The results obtained from this investigation will enable us to develop a tool to standardise the process to consent patients for surgical procedures and those used to enrol patients in clinical research studies.

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