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Letter: Biotech patents hamper research

Sir: Neither of the letters you printed (6 June) in response to "The mouse that roared" raised the matter of consent - particularly pertinent given the case of Diane Blood and her husband's sperm.

I had a baby last year and I am appalled to learn that tissue taken from my body was used to inflict suffering on laboratory animals without anyone considering that I might like to have been consulted first. I am fully in favour of medical research on human tissue, but not if it involves the suffering of other creatures.

Even if umbilical material is argued to belong to the baby, who cannot make a decision, the issues raised are essentially the same as in the question of sperm removal from a dead man where prior consent has not been obtained. At the very least I should surely have been consulted as the child's legal guardian.


Tadworth, Surrey