A skin-care company builds a futuristic facility to stockpile human tissue. Should you donate?
Discarded body tissue is a hot commodity. It's bought and sold and used for everything from anthrax vaccines to penis-enlargement products. If you donate tissue for research or leave some behind at a doctor's office after, say, a routine mole removal, those samples are sometimes stored to be used in research or turned into profitable products.
For the most part, this is good; it leads to new drugs and disease cures. But for decades, patients'-rights groups, bioethicists and lawyers have argued that patients should have control over what happens to their tissue once they've parted with it.