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Essay

Essay Essays are opinion pieces on a topic of broad interest to a general medical audience.

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Alas, Poor Yorick: Digging Up the Dead to Make Medical Diagnoses

  • Deborah Hayden
  • Published: March 29, 2005
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020060

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Call for Biohistory Guidelines

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:41 GMT

Author: Jordan Paradise
Position: Legal Fellow
Institution: Chicago-Kent College of Law
E-mail: jparadise@kentlaw.edu
Submitted Date: April 15, 2005
Published Date: April 25, 2005
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in response to an essay published in the most recent issue of your journal by Deborah Hayden, entitled Alas, Poor Yorick: Digging Up the Dead to Make Medical Diagnosis. As a co-author of the Science piece with Lori B. Andrews that Hayden references, I am troubled by her comment on our article. Nowhere in that article, Constructing Ethical Guidelines for Biohistory, 304 Sci 215 (2004), do we suggest that genetic testing be done on deceased individuals for historically significant questions. In fact, we specifically highlight some of the ethical, legal, social and scientific issues that such testing raises and recommend that guidelines be developed in order to monitor current research that is being undertaken in this area. The article does not advocate biohistorical research. This distinction is very important and one that is quite evident upon a careful reading of our article.

No competing interests declared.