Policy ForumEthics

Constructing Ethical Guidelines for Biohistory

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Science  09 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5668, pp. 215-216
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094372

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Increasingly, biohistorical analysis is being used to answer questions about historic figures' behavior, disease, cause of death, and lineage, as well as for purposes of authentication of remains or artifacts. Such investigations raise social, legal, ethical, and scientific concerns for the historic figure, living family members, affected groups, and society in general. This Policy Forum analyzes relevant considerations and proposes a framework for regulating biohistorical research through professional guidelines.