A SHAKE-UP in the rules of human genetic research in order to gain the full benefits of the new work is urged by an all-party committee of peers today.
A report by the Lords Science and Technology Committee, says that special regulation of the human genetic databases in itself is neither necessary or feasible.
Any concerns relate to the data on individuals contained in the databases, rather than the databases themselves and it said the Data Protection Act of 1998 applies to personal genetic information and should continue to be the primary means of regulation.
The report distinguishes between consent needed for medical procedures and those for the collection and use of data, and for the different ways in which information may be used.
To provide a single clear process for dealing with questions about the secondary use of health and related data, the Lords propose a new Medical Data Panel which includes lay members.
The General Medical Council's guidelines - 'Confidentiality: protecting and providing information' - have led to worries that the flow of data essential for medical planning and research may be unacceptably reduced. …