Citation:Paradise J (2005) Call for Biohistory Guidelines. PLoS Med 2(6): e192. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020192
Published: June 28, 2005
Copyright: © 2005 Jordan Paradise. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Competing interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.
I am writing in response to an essay published in the most recent issue of PLoS Medicine by Deborah Hayden, entitled “Alas, Poor Yorick: Digging Up the Dead to Make Medical Diagnoses” . As a co-author of the Science piece with Lori B. Andrews that Hayden references, I am troubled by her comment on our article. Nowhere in that article, “Ethics. Constructing Ethical Guidelines for Biohistory” , do we suggest that genetic testing be done on deceased individuals for historically significant questions. In fact, we specifically highlight some of the ethical, legal, social, and scientific issues that such testing raises and recommend that guidelines be developed in order to monitor current research that is being undertaken in this area. The article does not advocate biohistorical research. This distinction is very important and one that is quite evident upon a careful reading of our article.