The governance of human genetic research databases in mental health research Academic Article uri icon


  • The field of mental health offers a valuable context in which to examine new challenges presented by human genetic research databases to the legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks for human genetic research. Longitudinal prospective genetic research of psychiatric disorders often involves access to human genetic research databases and to stored tissue for future uses that cannot be specified at the time the patient consents to their collection. The potential of such research to contribute to an improved understanding and treatment of complex genetic diseases such as schizophrenia presupposes sound ethical, legal and regulatory frameworks to ensure public trust and preparedness to participate in such research. This article provides a brief overview of some of the ethical and legal challenges posed by human genetic research databases and their implications for how genetic research should be conducted in the field of mental health.

publication date

  • May 2007