Versteigerung von Stammzellen in Japan
Eubios Ethics Institute Daily News Total List
This site is http://www.biol.tsukuba.ac.jp/~macer/daily.html. It is
linked to the Amercian Journal Bioethics Daily Bioethics News
Friday, 26 October, 2001
Human cell lines auctioned in Japan by court
The Tokyo District Court has seized human cell strains that were used
as collateral on loans and auctioned yesterday. This was probably
first auction in Japan of human cell samples.
The human cell lines obtained from dozens of people were seized in July
from the headquarters of the Japan Human Cell Society in Shinagawa
Ward, Tokyo, by court officials. The court officials impounded
containers with ampuls holding the human cell strains, belonging to
Hideo Okumura, the head of the research association, and experts
priced them at about 160 million yen.
While the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry
set guidelines this spring requiring researchers to obtain individual
consent before using cells for gene analysis, there are no legal
provisions banning transactions of cell strains for research purposes.
Courts may not impound items deemed necessary for daily living, or goods
that go against public order and morals. Legal experts said that since
human cells are treated as a commodity in other countries, they
probably do not fall under these categories or have legal barriers
their being acknowledged as movable property.
The sale raises ethical issues of privacy, which have not been