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September 2021 - 1:48 pm IST

Science

HC asks ethics panel to consider scientist plea to collect discarded blood samples for research 

HC asks ethics panel to consider scientist plea to collect discarded blood samples for research 

Published:14 September 2021

Kerala High Court directed the Institutional Ethics Committee at the Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram to consider a scientist's plea, seeking permission to collect discarded blood samples of fever patients from Primary Health Centres for developing a diagnostic kit to identify tiger moth disease.

Kochi | The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Institutional Ethics Committee at the Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram to consider a scientist's plea, seeking permission to collect discarded blood samples of fever patients from Primary Health Centres for developing a diagnostic kit to identify tiger moth disease.
The high court asked the scientist to furnish the required details and documents within a week to the committee, which in turn was directed to consider the same and issue recommendations within 10 days thereafter.
A direction was also issued to the state government to take an appropriate decision based on the recommendations within two weeks of receiving the same.
With these directions, Justice P B Suresh Kumar disposed of the plea by Dr Wills Janardhan, seeking permission to collect discarded blood samples from PHCs for his research towards creating a diagnostic kit to identify tiger moth disease, which can be mistaken for dengue or chikungunya because of similar symptoms.
Dr Janardhan is carrying out the experiments with aid from the Biotech Industrial Research Assistance Council, the court noted in its order.
The court asked him to furnish the required details to the ethics committee after the state government filed a statement, saying that any decision on the scientist's plea can only be made on the panel's recommendations.
Earlier, the high court had asked the state government not to obstruct innovative research as was being carried out by the scientist.
"If someone is doing some innovative research, why do you stand in the way? Why this adversarial attitude always?," the court had asked the state government while seeking its response on whether permission can be granted to the scientist for collecting the blood samples.
Subsequently, the state filed a statement saying a decision can be taken only on recommendation of the ethics committee.
The scientist had approached the court after his requests for collecting the discarded blood samples were rejected by the government. 


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