Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

It is now possible to undertake gene sequencing on DNA obtained from stored tissue removed from a person now deceased or from stored tissue from a living person. The sequencing may assist close blood relatives who are at risk of having a mutation that predisposes them to cancer to find out their own genetic risk. If the test had been done previously Australian law would permit the test results to be provided to close blood relatives of the "originator" without consent, even if other relatives object, although good practice is to inform all family members about proposed genetic tests. However, it is less clear whether a pathology laboratory can lawfully, and should ethically provide stored tissue for genetic testing, without the originator's consent. This article argues that the law and ethics need to be clarified so pathology laboratories can confidently make stored tissue available for testing to assist blood relatives.


Journal article


J Law Med

Publication Date





864 - 870


Adult, Biological Specimen Banks, Family, Female, Genetic Testing, Humans, Male, Mutation, Pedigree, Risk Assessment