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Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2011 Aug;17(4):229-34. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEB.2010.0683.

Ethical issues regarding the donation and source of cells for tissue engineering: a European focus group study.

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Section Ethics, Philosophy, and History of Medicine, Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


This article is part of the EuroSTEC project, which aims at developing tissue engineering-based treatments for structural disorders present at birth. EuroSTEC is positioned at the intersection of three areas with their own ethical issues: (1) regenerative medicine, (2) research with pregnant women and fetuses, and (3) research with neonates. Because of the link between these three areas in this project, one can expect to be confronted with new ethical challenges. To be able to respond adequately and timely to current and possible future ethical issues, a prospective and anticipatory ethical analysis is essential. To obtain a first impression of the ethical issues that might arise during the different phases of the project, a Delphi method was used. On the basis of the results of two previous rounds of questionnaires, two topics were selected for discussion in focus groups: ethical issues associated with (1) source of cells and (2) donation. The results could be divided into three clusters: Tissue, Donor, and Scientist. Where the former two clusters roughly coincide with the results of the previous rounds, the third subject was entirely new but discussed by both groups: the role of the scientist in the tissue engineering process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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