The Challenges of Oral-based Diagnostics in Extending the Role of Dentistry as a Health Care Profession: Property Rights, Privacy, and Informed Consent

Anthony Vernillo, Jos Welie, Sudeshni Naidoo, Daniel Malamud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Saliva may be a legal and ethical counterpart of other bodily fluids in diagnostic testing to blood and urine, with regard to its role in diagnostic testing. Two paradigms that have been proposed in the literature to address these challenges are reviewed in this paper. The first is centered on ownership and property rights to saliva, including financial compensation from commercially developed products using saliva. The commodification of saliva as property is also discussed. The second paradigm is related to privacy and the potential for genetic discrimination, given the unwarranted disclosure of confidential information. The management of saliva specimens from dental patients and research participants will also require the implementation of innovative approaches to obtain informed consent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
JournalThe Journal of the American College of Dentists
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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