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The ‘Expiry Problem’ of broad consent for biobank research - And why a meta consent model solves it
  1. Thomas Ploug1,
  2. Søren Holm2,3
  1. 1 Centre for Applied Ethics and Philosophy of Science, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University Copenhagen, København S, Denmark
  2. 2 Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, School of Law, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  3. 3 Center of Medical Ethics, Institute of Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Ploug, Centre for Applied Ethics and Philosophy of Science, Aalborg University Copenhagen, København S 2450, Denmark; ploug{at}


In this response to Neil Manson’s latest intervention in our debate about the best consent model for biobank research we show, contra Manson that the ‘expiry problem’ that affects broad consent models because of changes over time in methods, purposes, types of data used and governance structures is a real and significant problem. We further show that our preferred implementation of meta consent as a national consent platform solves this problem and is not subject to the cost and burden objections that Manson raises.

  • informed consent
  • research ethics
  • genetic information

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  • Contributors TP drafted the article after discussion with SH. Both authors revised the draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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