Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Mats G. Hansson

Mats Hansson, foto: Catarina Olsson

Mats G. Hansson
Professor of Biomedical Ethics

Mats Hansson is the director of the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics and has conducted extensive research in biomedical ethics as principal investigator in several multi-disciplinary research projects dealing with issues ranging from ethical, social and legal aspects of the implementation of genetic diagnosis in clinical practice and the use of human tissue materials in research, to clinical and medical ethics. He holds an undergraduate degree in biology (1974) and a doctoral degree of theology (1991). Mats Hansson is Professor of Biomedial Ethics, funded by Uppsala University and the Uppsala County Council together. He also works as a clinical consultant at Akademiska sjukhuset (Uppsala University Hospital).

E-mail: Mats.Hansson@crb.uu.se
Phone: +46 18 471 61 97

PhD supervision

Recently in the media

Selected publications

Grady D, Eckstein L, Berkman B, Brock D, Cook-Deegan R, Fullerton SM, Greely H, Hansson MG, Hull S, Kima S, Lo B, Pentz R, Rodriguez R, Weil C, Wilfond BS & Wendler D, Broad Consent for Research With Biological Samples: Workshop Conclusions, the American Journal of Bioethics 2015;15(9):34-42.

IRDiC recommendedMascalzoni D, Dove ES, Rubinstein Y, Dawkins HJS, Kole A, McCormack P, Woods S, Reiss O, Schaefer F, Lochmüller H, Knoppers BM & Hansson MG, International Charter of principles for sharing bio-specimens and data, European Journal of Human Genetics 2015;23:721-728

Viberg J, Segerdahl P, Langenskiöld S, Hansson MG, Freedom of Choice About Incidental Findings Can Frustrate Participants' True Preferences, Bioethics, Article first published online: 23 APR 2015 DOI: 10.1111/bioe.12160

Swartling U, Helgesson G, Ludvigsson J & Hansson MG, Children's Views on Long-Term Screening for Type 1 Diabetes, Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 2014;9(4):1-9.

Graham CE, Molster C, Baynam GS, Bushby K, Hansson M, Kole A, Mascalzoni D, Mora M, Monaco L, Bellgard M, Carpentieri D, Posada M, Riess O, Rubinstein YR, Schaefer F, Taruscio D, Terry SF, Zatloukal K, Knoppers B, Lochmüller H, Dawkins HJS, Current trends in biobanking for rare diseases: a review, Journal of Biorepository Science for Applied Medicine 2014;2:49-61

Masterton M, Renberg T, Hansson MG, Kälvemark Sporrong S, Ethical Review Boards are poor advocates for patient perspectives, Research Ethics, 2014;10(3):169-181.

Thompson R, Johnson L, Taruscio D, Monaco L, Gut IG, Hansson MG, 't Hoen P-BA, Patrinos GP, Dawkins H, Ensini M, Zatloukal K, Koubi D, Heslop E, Paschall JE, Posada M, Robinson PN, Bushby K, Lochmueller H, RD-Connect: An Integrated Platform Connecting Databases, Registries, Biobanks and Clinical Bioinformatics for Rare Disease Research, Journal of general internal medicine, 2014;29(S3):780-787.

Mascalzoni D, Paradiso A, Hansson M, Rare Disease Research: Breaking the Privacy Barrier, Applied & Translational Genomics, Available online 18 April 2014

Viberg J, Hansson MG, Langenskiöld S, Segerdahl P, Incidental findings: the time is not yet ripe for a policy for biobanks, European Journal of Human Genetics, 2014;22:437-441

Reichel, J, Lind A-S, Hansson MG, Litton, J-E, ERIC - A new governance tool for Biobanking, European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication 5 February 2014; doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2014.6

Ranieri G, Gadaleta CD, Patruno R, Zizzo N, Daidone MG, Hansson MG, Paradiso A, Ribatti D, A model of study for human cancer: Spontaneous occurring tumors in dogs. Biological features and translation for new anticancer therapies, Critical reviews in oncology/hematology 2013;88(1):187-198

Paradiso A, Hansson M, Finding ways to improve the use of biobanks, Nature Medicine, 2013;19(7):815-815

Jalmsell L, Forslund M, Hansson MG, Henter JI, Kreichbergs U, Frost BM, Transition to noncurative end-of-life care in paediatric oncology: a nationwide follow-up in Sweden, Acta Paediatrica 2013;102(7):744-748

Stjernschantz Forsberg J, Hansson MG, Evers K, International guidelines on biobank research leave researchers in ambiguity: why is this so? 2013;28(6):449-451

Godskesen T, Nygren P, Nordin K, Hansson M, Kihlbom U, Phase 1 clinical trials in end-stage cancer: patient understanding of trial premises and motives for participation, Supportive Care in Cancer, 2013;21(11): 3137-3142

Johnsson L, Eriksson S, Helgesson G & Hansson MG, Making researchers moral: Why trustworthiness requires more than ethics, Research Ethics 2014;10(1):29-46

Godskesen T, Hansson MG, Nygren P, Nordin K, Kilhlbom U: Hope for a cure and altruism are the main motives behind participation in phase 3 clinical cancer trials, European Journal of Cancer Care, 2014; doi: 10.1111/ecc.12184. Published  2 January 2014.

Ashkan AHansson MG, Kihlbom K: Cheating is the Name of the Game - Conventional Cheating Arguments Fail to Articulate Moral Responses to Doping, Physical Culture and Sport. Studies and Research(ISSN 2081-2221)(EISSN 1899-4849)

Godskesen T, Nygren P, Nordin K, Hansson MG, Kihlbom U: Phase 1 clinical trials in end-stage cancer: patient understanding of trial premises and motives for participation, Supportive Care in Cancer, DOI 10.1007/s00520-013-1891-7

Mascalzoni D, Knoppers BM, Aymé S, Macilotti M, Dawkins H, Woods S, Hansson MG, Rare Diseases and Now Rare Data?, Nature Review Genetics, 2013;14:372

Hansson MG, van Ommen GJ, Chadwick R & Dillner J, Patients would benefit from simplified ethical review and consent procedure, Lancet Oncology 2013;14(16):451-453

Stjernschantz Forsberg J, Hansson MG, Eriksson S, Why participating in (certain) scientific research is a moral duty, J Med Ethics, online pre-publication 2013, doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-100859

Atry A, Hansson MG, Kihlbom U, Beyond the Individual: Sources of Attitudes Towards Rule Violation in Sport, Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 2012;6(4):467-479.

Stjernschantz Forsberg J, Hansson MG, Eriksson S, Biobank research and consent. Authors’ reply to Sheehan, BMJ 2011; 343:d6901

Hansson MG, Where should we draw the line between quality of care and other ethical concerns related to medical registries and biobanks? , Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 2012; 33(4):313-323.

Hansson MG, Simonsson B, Feltelius N, Stjernschantz Forsberg J, Medical registries represent vital patient interests and should not be dismantled by stricter regulation, Hasford J, Cancer Epidemiology, 2013;36(6):575-578. 

Hansson MG, Validate DNA-findings before telling donors , Letter, Nature, 2012;484(7395):455

Evers K, Stjernschantz Forsberg J, Hansson MG, Commercialisation of biobanks, Biopreservation and Biobanking, 2012;10(1):45-47

Johnsson L, Helgesson G, Hansson MG, Eriksson S, Adequate trust avails, mistaken trust matters: On the moral responsibility of doctors as proxies for patients’ trust in biobank research, Bioethics,2013;27(9)485-492.

Hansson MG, Gattorno M, Stjernschantz Forsberg J, Feltelius N, Martini A & Ruperto N, Ethics bureaucracy: a significant hurdle for collaborative follow-up of drug effectiveness in rare childhood diseases, Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2011-301175

Stjernschantz Forsberg J, Hansson MG, Eriksson S, Biobank research: Who benefits from individual consent?, BMJ2011;343:d5647

Hansson MG, Biobanking Within the European Regulatory Framework: Opportunities and Obstacles, Biopreservation and Biobanking 2011;9(2):165-167.

Swartling U, Hansson MG, Ludvigsson J, Nordgren A, My parents decide if I can. I decide if I want to." : Children's views on participation in medical research, Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 2011;6(4):68-75.

Magnusson H, Felländer-Tsai L, Hansson MG and Ryd L, Cancellations of elective surgery may cause an inferior postoperative course: the ’Invisible hand’ of health care prioritization?, Clinical Ethics, 2011;6(1):27-31.

Atry A, Hansson MG, Kihlbom U, Gene Doping and the Responsibility of Bioethicists, Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 2011;5(2):149-160.

Stjernschantz Forsberg J, Hansson MG, Eriksson S, The Risks and Benefits of Re-Consent, Science, 2011;332:306.

Hansson MG, The need to downregulate. A minimal ethical framework for biobank research, in: Dillner J. (ed.), Methods in Biobanking, Methods in Molecular Biology Book Series No 675, The Humana press, Springer 2011.

Masterton M, Hansson MG, Höglund AT, In search of the missing subject: narrative identity and posthumous wronging, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 2012;41(4):340-346

Johnsson L, Helgesson G, Rafna, T, Halldorsdottir I, Chia KS, Eriksson S, and Hansson MG, Hypothetical and factual willingness to participate in biobank research, European Journal of Human Genetics, 2010;18:1261-1264.

Hansson MG, Do we need a wider view of autonomy in epidemiological research?, British Medical Journal 2010;340:c.(2335):1172-1174.

Hansson MG & Hakama M, Ulysses contracts for the doctor and for the patient, Contemporary Clinical Trials, 2010;31:202-206.

Hansson MG, Taking the patient’s side: the ethics of pharmacogenetics, Personalized Medicine, 2010:7(1): 75-85.

Forsberg JS, Eriksson S, Hansson MG, Changing defaults in biobank research could save lives too, European Journal of Epidemiology, 2010;25(2):65-8.

Hansson MG and Maschke KJ, Biobanks: Questioning Distinctions, Science, 2009;326(5954):797.

Truyers C, Kellen E, Arbyn M, Trommelmans L, Nys H, Hensen K, Aertgeerts B, Bartholomeeusen S, Hansson M, Buntinx F, The use of human tissue in epidemiological research; Ethical and legal considerations in two biobanks in Belgium, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 2010;13(2):169-75.

Stjernschantz Forsberg J, Hansson MG, Eriksson S, Changing perspectives in biobank research – from individual rights to concerns about public health regarding the return of results, European Journal of Human Genetics, 2009:17:1544-1549.

Ferm Widlund K, Gunnarsson C, Nordin K, Hansson MG, Pregnant women are satisfied with the information they receive about prenatal diagnosis, but are they well informed?, Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 2009;88 (10):1128-1132.

Hultman, CM, Lindgren, A-C, Hansson, MG, Carlstedt-Duke, J, Ritzen, M, Persson, I, Kieler, H, Ethical Issues in Cancer Register Follow-up of Hormone Treatment in Adolescence, Public Health Ethics, 2009;2(1):30-36

Swartling, U, Helgesson, G, Hansson, MG, Ludvigsson, J, Split views among parents regarding children’s right to decide about participation in research: a questionnaire survey, Journal of Medical Ethics 2009;35(7):450-455.

Hansson MG, Kihlbom U, Tuvemo T, Olsen L, and Rodriguez A, Concern for privacy in relation to age during physical examination of children: an exploratory study, Acta Pædiatrica, 2009;98,(8):1349–1354.

Helgesson G, Hansson MG, Ludvigsson J, Swartling U, Practical matters, rather than lack of trust, motivate non-participation in a long-term cohort trial, Pediatric Diabetes, 2009;10(6):408-412.

Hansson MG, Ethics and Biobanks, British Journal of Cancer, 2009;100:8–12

Johnsson L, Hansson MG, Eriksson S, Helgesson G, Opt-out from biobanks better respects patients’ autonomy. BMJ, 2008;337(a1580).

Johnsson L, Hansson MG, Eriksson S, Helgesson G, Patients' refusal to consent to storage and use of samples in Swedish biobanks: cross sectional study, BMJ, 2008;337(a345):224-26.

Swartling U, Helgesson G, Hansson MG, Ludvigsson J, Parental authority, research interests and children’s right to decide in medical research – an uneasy tension?, Clin Ethics 2008;3:69-74

Hansson MG, The Private Sphere. An Emotional Territory and Its Agent, Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture, Springer, Vol. 15, 2008, X, 182 p., ISBN: 978-1-4020-6651-1.

Helgesson G, Dillner J, Carlson J, Bartram CR, Hansson MG, Ethical framework for previously collected biobank samples, Nature Biotechnology, 2007; 25(9)973-976.

Hansson MG, Kihlbom U, Tuvemo T, Olsen L, and Rodriguez A, Ethics Takes Time, but not that long, BMC Medical Ethics, 2007;8:6. doi:10.1186/1472-6939-8-6.

Hansson MG, Helgesson G, Wessman R, Jaenisch R, Isolated stem cells – patentable as cultural artifacts?, Stem Cells, 2007;25:1507-1510

Strømsvik N, Nordin K, Berglund G, Engebretsen LF, Hansson MG, Gjengedal E, Living with MEN 1. Living with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1. Decent Care- Insufficient Medical and Genetic Information. Journal of Genetic Counseling 2007;16:105-117.

Hansson MG, For the Safety and Benefit of Current and Future Patients, Pathobiology 2007;74:198–205.

Hansson MG, Dillner J, Bartram CR, Carlsson J, Helgesson G, Should donors be allowed to give broad consent to future biobank research?, The Lancet Oncology, 2006;7:266-269.

Masterton M, Hansson MG, Höglund AT, Helgesson G, Can the Dead be Brought into Disrepute? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 2007;28:137-149.

Masterton M, Helgesson G, Höglund AT, Hansson MG, Queen Christina's moral claim on the living – justification of a tenacious moral intuition, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 2007;10:(3): 321-327.

Illes J, Blakemore C, Hansson MG, Hensch T, Leshner A, Maestre G, Magistretti P, Quirion R, Strata P, International perspectives on engaging the public in neuroethics, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2005;6:977-982.

Hansson MG, Building on relationships of trust in biobank research, Journal of Medical Ethics, 2005;31:415-418.

Hansson MG, The ethics of PGD-regulation, in: Ingileif Jonsdottir, I.. (ed.), PGD and Embryo Selection, The Nordic Committee on Bioethics, Copenhagen 2006:82-92.

Hansson MG, Justice and solidarity with the old – two complementary moral concerns in health care, in: Matthews E (ed.), A Crisis of Aging, Nuffield Report (In press).

Hansson MG, Combining efficiency and concerns about integrity when using human biobanks, Studies in History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 2006;37:520-532.

Kettis-Lindblad A, Ring L, Viberth E, Hansson MG, Perceptions of potential donors in the Swedish public towards information and consent procedures in relation to use of human tissue samples in biobanks: A population-based study, Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 2007;35(2):148-156.

Kälvemark Sporrong S, Arnetz B, Hansson MG, Westerholm, P, Höglund AT, Developing Ethical Competence in Health Care Organizations, Nursing Ethics, 2007:14(6):825-837.

Kälvemark S, Höglund AT, Hansson MG, Westerholm P, Arnetz B, Living with Conflicts. Ethical Dilemmas and Moral Distress in the Health Care System, Social Science and Medicine, 2004;58:1075-1084.

Kälvemark Sporrong S, Höglund AT, Hansson MG, Westerholm P, Arnetz B, ”We are White Coats Whirling Round”. Moral Distress in Swedish Pharmacies, Pharmacy World and Science 2005;27: 223-229.

Rodriguez A, Tuvemo T, Hansson MG, Children in Medical Research: The Parental Perspective, Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 2006;111(1):73-86.

Kettis Lindblad Å, Ring L, Viberth E, Hansson MG, Genetic research and donation of tissue samples to biobanks. What do potential sample donors in the Swedish general public think?, European Journal of Public Health, 2006;16:433-440.

Lidén A, Berglund G, Hansson MG, Rosenquist R, Sjödén P-O, Nordin K, Genetic Counselling for Cancer and Risk Perception, Acta Oncologica, 2003;42(7):726-734.

Nordin K, Lidén A, Hansson MG, Rosenquist R, Berglund G, Coping style, psychological distress, risk perception and satisfaction in subjects attending genetic counselling for hereditary cancer, Journal of Medical Genetics, 2002;39:689-694.

Berglund G, Lidén A, Hansson MG, Sjödén P-O, Öberg K, Nordin K, Quality of life in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 (MEN 1), Familial Cancer, 2003;2:27-33.

Hansson MG, Levin M, (eds.), Biobanks as resources for health, Uppsala University, 2003, 276p.

Hansson MG, Imaginative Ethics – Bringing Ethical Praxis into Sharper Relief, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 2002;5:33-42.

Hansson MG, (ed.), The Use of Human Biobanks. Ethical, Social, Economical and Legal Aspects, Report 1, Uppsala University 2001, IBSN 91-506-1472-X, 93 pages.

Hansson MG, Protecting Research Integrity, Science and Engineering Ethics, 2000;6:79-90.

Hansson MG, Ethical Management of Hereditary Cancer Information, Acta Oncologica, 1999;38(3):305-308.

Hansson MG, Introduction to Discussion on Ethical Matters, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, 1998;29:62-63.

Hansson MG, Balancing the Quality of Consent, Journal of Medical Ethics, 1998;24(3):182-187.

Hansson MG, Treating a dying patient with respect, The Living Pulpit, 1998;7(3):24-25.

Hansson MG, Human Dignity and Animal Well-being. A Kantian contribution to biomedical ethics, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Uppsala Studies in Social Ethics 12, Uppsala 1991, 210 pages.

Hansson MG, How Can the Moral Law Determine Action in a Specific Situation?, Akten des 7. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses, Mainz 1990:305-312.

Hansson MG, International aspects: National profiles, Scandinavia, in: Murray TJ & Mehlman MJ, Encyklopedia of Ethical, Legal & Policy Issues in Biotechnology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2000:731-739.

Kettis Lindblad Å, Ring L, Glimelius B, Hansson MG, Focus on the individual. Quality of life assessments in oncology validity, interpretation and implementation in clinical practice (review), Acta Oncologica, 2002;41:507-516.

Hansson MG, Swedish biotechnology and bioethics go hand in hand, Current Sweden, 2002;438:2002.

Hansson MG (ed.), Good Conduct in Research. An extract from the Swedish parliamentary investigation into research ethics 1999, Forskningsrådsnämnden, Stockholm 1999, 63pages.


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Guideline for sharing specimens and data receives IRDiRC recommendation

[2015-08-25] The International Charter of principles for sharing bio-specimens and data has received a recommendation from the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium IRDiRC.

IRDiC recommendedThe Charter is part of CRB's work with the ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI) in the RD-Connect platform.

Regulating biobank research: new book

[2015-01-13] Biobank research and genomic information are changing the way we look at health and medicine. So how can we regulate it? A recent book published by Springer shows us how the regulatory systems work and raises a critical voice.

Deborah MascalzoniJennifer Viberg, Mats G. Hansson, Sophie Langenskiöld and Pär Segerdahl have contributed with a chapter in Ethics, Law and Governance of Biobanking that was recently published by Springer.

Dynamic privacy for rare disease research

Deborah Mascalzoni[2014-05-19] With only a handful of patients in a country, rare disease research depends on international collaborations. The right to withdraw can have unfortunate consequences with lost data jeopardizing already difficult research. But how can researchers respect patients and their right to privacy and still protect the quality of their research?

Mats G. HanssonPrivacy rights that are regulated through traditional informed consent have been looked on as the major barrier for international data sharing. In a recent article in Applied and Translational Genomics, Deborah Mascalzoni, Angelo Paradiso and Mats G. Hansson writes that privacy often has been interpreted as the right to secrecy. In the article they claim it can hold another meaning: the right to manage your own private sphere

Current research

At the intersection of curative and palliative treatment in paediatric oncology (PhD Project)

BBMRI.se (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure)





Factors associated with participation in phase1 and phase 3 oncology trials

Mind The Risk

Pretend play: children with cancer


Previous research

Autonomy and trust in biobank research (PhD Project)

AutoCure - Curing autoimmune rheumatic diseases

Cancer control using population based registries and biobanks (CCPRB)

Children's assent and participation in a longitudinal cohort study of child health

Controlling chronic inflammatory diseases with combined efforts (COMBINE)

Empower the patient: Hip fracture as outpatient care

Ethical and medical praxis in perinaltal medicine

Ethical aspects of biobank research – Individual rights vs. the public good?
(PhD Project)

Ethical aspects of longitudinal studies involving children

How do patients prioritize in situations of limited resources?

Is Fair Play Compatible with Doping in Sport? (PhD Project)

Retrospective DNA technologies an integrity for historical persons (PhD Project)

The Use of Human Biobanks - Ethical, Social, Economical and Legal Aspects

When and under what circumstances may genetic information be used?


Presentation of Mats Hansson on BBMRI.se website