Population Biobanks and social justice: Commercial or Communitarian models?
A comparative analysis of benefit sharing, ownership and access arrangements


Sarah Wilson


Lancaster University



Abstract. The combination of developing genomics and information technology in the form of population biobanks has led to wide ranging discussions of the ethical, legal and social implications of this new resource. This article addresses several aspects of social justice, and includes matters relating to the broad themes of balancing public and private interests, and the individual and the common good. These themes will be addressed here by looking at the specific issues of benefit sharing, ownership and access, in relation to three planned database projects, in Iceland, the UK, and Estonia. These issues are con­sidered in relation to the opposing frameworks of commercialism and community.