Privacy policy

The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) takes your privacy and the protection of your personal information extremely serious.

Scientific research on left-over body samples and medical data

The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) contributes to scientific research every day. This research helps us better understand diseases, which also allows us to treat them better.

You may have blood or another sample taken from you to find out which illness you are suffering from. It is possible that the leftover of those samples (possibly together with some linked medical data) may be used at a later point in time for scientific research. Such secondary research is governed by the law on human body samples of 19 December 2008 (article 20) and also requires that we inform you about this.

It is also possible that your medical data is used for future scientific research. ITM invokes the legal basis of public interest and the exception ground of Art. 9.2 j of the General Data Protection Regulation for the processing of sensitive personal data for scientific research purposes. In this case, your data will always be coded (your name will be replaced by a code, which makes you not directly identifiable) and wherever possible, your data will be completely anonymised. The link with your identity will be strictly separated and this always happens under the responsibility of a physician. Your name or identifiable information will also never show up in any publications arising from such research.

Only authorised researchers have access to your data and samples. Each of them is bound by professional secrecy and has also signed a confidentiality agreement. Prior to the start, scientific research, be it with left-over samples or only coded medical data, must obtain approval from the Ethics Committee (Institutional Review Board) of ITM.

The confidentiality of samples and personal data handled within ITM, is guaranteed at all times.

You have the right to refuse this future use of your samples or medical data.  You can communicate this immediately to a healthcare provider at ITM (your treating physician, nurse, or a member of the medical secretarial staff), but you can also communicate a refusal later at any time (verbally, by e-mail, or by letter). In case you refuse the future use of your samples, this will not influence the care you receive at our clinic, now or in the future.

If genetic research should ever take place on your samples, we will always ask you for a separate, written consent first.

In exceptional cases, researchers may sometimes discover something during such later research that is potentially hazardous to your health or the health of others. In this case, you will be informed about this out of moral and legal obligation.

For questions, or to express a refusal, please also contact or +32 3 247 07 43.

Thank you for your involvement and cooperation.


Information security
+32 (0)3 247 07 43

If you have any questions about the future use of your body samples or data, don't hesitate to contact us.