Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 January 2021
In 2009, Time magazine named “biobanks” as one of the 10 ideas changing the world. These organized collections of human biological material and associated data have been identified as “vital research tools in the drive to uncover the consequences of human health and disease.” Since their inception, however, biobanks have faced ethical and legal challenges. Whether these pertain to informed consent, access by researchers, commercialization, confidentiality, or governance, biobanks must continue to address jurisdictional matters, operational difficulties, and normative frameworks that strive to stay abreast of current scientific innovation. Yet, with some biobanks now having completed their recruitment objectives and with research currently being performed on their data and samples, one topic has become the focus of ongoing debates: the return of research results to participants.