Revival of the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster and the ethics of medical research : The Tohoku Medical Megabank Project


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  • 東日本大震災からの復興と医学研究の倫理 : 東北メディカル・メガバンク計画をめぐって

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The ultimate goal of medicine is to protect human life and dignity, and thus, medical research is considered a humanistic enterprise. However, although medical research is, in most cases, affirmative of the individual, it is sometimes not in harmony with society, and can be dependent on various factors such as time, locality, and the social environment in which the research is being conducted. Even if the significance and benefit of a research program is recognized, it may be criticized on the grounds that it is unsuitable for the social situation, and a reexamination may be demanded. The problem of "The Tohoku Medical Megabank Project," which this paper tackles, is precisely such a case. Questions concerning the studying of genomics in vulnerable areas continue to be raised, and were highlighted right from the beginning of the plan. After considering the views both for and against the project, and by identifying the conflict points, the paper examines directionality and decision-making procedures in the context of ideal medical research and health care policy for those who are affected.


  • Bioethics

    Bioethics 24 (1), 163-170, 2014

    Japan Association for Bioethics

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