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J Med Ethics. 2003 Jun;29(3):186-92.

Attitudes of Swedes to marginal donors and xenotransplantation.

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Department of European Ethnology, University of Lund, Finngatan 8, SE 223 62 Lund, Sweden.


The aim of our survey was to capture the attitudes of Swedes to marginal donors and xenotransplantation. Modern biotechnology makes it possible to replace non-functioning organs, cells, and genes. Nonetheless, people may have reservations and fears about such treatments. With the survey, Attitudes of the General Public to Transplants, we have sought to expose the ambivalence that arises when medical possibilities are juxtaposed with ideas of risk. The design of the questionnaire originates from the interdisciplinary cooperation between ethnologists, medical scientists, and geneticists. By combining qualitative and quantitative methods, it is possible to illustrate the complexity that characterises people's view of modern biomedicine. People's reflections are based on a personal and situation bound morality, which does not necessarily coincide with what they generally consider as ethically justifiable.

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