The Effect on Researchers of Handling Human Fetal Tissue
Tuch, Bernard E.
Dunn, Stewart M.
de Vahl Davis, Vivianne
Journal of Clinical Ethics. 1993 Winter; 4(4): 319-326.
We wish to investigate the concerns of those who are opposed to fetal-tissue research. One would expect that if researchers who work with human fetal tissue are so brutalized, this callousness would extend into other areas of their lives and they would become desensitized to human rights and the value of life. This hypothesis motivated us to design a questionnaire to measure the attitudes of researchers at the University of Sydney, where medical research using human fetal tissue (under the ethical guidelines of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia) has been ongoing since 1980. We sought to examine researchers' attitudes toward a wide variety of ethical, social, and religious issues. We sent questionnaires to the 36 researchers who had handled human fetal tissue, as well as to two other groups of university researchers -- one that dealt with only animal tissue and one that did not handle tissue at all. In order to check its validity, we also sent the questionnaire to a fourth group, hospital nurses who dealt exclusively with patients and who conducted no laboratory research....The results of our survey indicate that most researchers who handle human fetal tissue do have transient initial reactions, with over one-third being unable to lose their initial aversion. However, we found no difference in attitudes toward a range of moral and ethical issues between those who work with human fetal tissue and those who do not. We believe that there is, therefore, no justification for saying that people who work with human fetal tissue are rendered inhuman or brutalized.
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Aborted Fetuses; Abortion; Animal Experimentation; Attitudes; Biomedical Research; Capital Punishment; Control Groups; Consent; Dehumanization; Embryos; Evaluation; Evaluation Studies; Fetal Research; Fetuses; Guidelines; Health; Human Rights; Informed Consent; Investigators; Life; Mothers; Medical Research; Nurses; Patients; Pregnant Women; Psychological Stress; Punishment; Questionnaires; Religion; Remuneration; Research; Researchers; Rights; Sexuality; Surrogate Mothers; Survey; Value of Life; Values;
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The Effect on Researchers of Handling Human Fetal Tissue Tuch, B.E.; Dunn, S.M.; de Vahl Davis, V. (1990-10)