BrainNet Europe’s Code of Conduct for brain banking

Natasja M. Klioueva, Marleen C. Rademaker, David T. Dexter, Safa Al-Sarraj, Danielle Seilhean, Nathalie Streichenberger, Peer Schmitz, Jeanne E. Bell, James W. Ironside, Thomas Arzberger, Inge Huitinga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


Research utilizing human tissue and its removal at post-mortem has given rise to many controversies in the media and posed many dilemmas in the fields of law and ethics. The law often lacks clear instructions and unambiguous guidelines. The absence of a harmonized international legislation with regard to post-mortem medical procedures and donation of tissue and organs contributes to the complexity of the issue. Therefore, within the BrainNet Europe (BNE) consortium, a consortium of 19 European brain banks, we drafted an ethical Code of Conduct for brain banking that covers basic legal rules and bioethical principles involved in brain banking. Sources include laws, regulations and guidelines (Declarations, Conventions, Recommendations, Guidelines and Directives) issued by international key organizations, such as the Council of Europe, European Commission, World Medical Association and World Health Organization. The Code of Conduct addresses fundamental topics as the rights of the persons donating their tissue, the obligations of the brain bank with regard to respect and observance of such rights, informed consent, confidentiality, protection of personal data, collections of human biological material and their management, and transparency and accountability within the organization of a brain bank. The Code of Conduct for brain banking is being adopted by the BNE network prior to being enshrined in official legislation for brain banking in Europe and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-940
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of neural transmission
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2015


  • Biobanking
  • Bioethics
  • Brain autopsy
  • Brain bank
  • Informed consent
  • Neuropathology


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