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3 JMLE, Journal of Medical Law and Ethics 151 (2015)
Biodiversity and Perceptions of Risk: Reactions to the Use of a Single Donor for Stem-Cell-Derived Red Blood Cell Transfusions

handle is hein.journals/jmle2015 and id is 159 raw text is: 

Biodiversity and perceptions of risk: Reactions to the use
     of a single donor for stem-cell-derived red blood cell
                                                             Dr Emma King*
                                           NMAHP-R U, University of Stirling


                 Blood transfusion is a well-accepted medical technology that cur-
rently relies on a supply of red blood cells from many thousands of altruistic donors.
Cultured red blood cells using stem cell technology could offer a replacement technology,
providing a limitless supply of red blood cells from a single source. This project used
interviews and focus groups to explore the views of a wide range of publics towards
cultured red blood cells. This paper explores how participants referred to a lack of
biodiversity in cultured red blood cells in three ways. The first was as a comparison
to GM crops, with concern over a monopoly on blood supplies. The second was a
perceived increased risk associated with a single source of blood. Thirdly participants
saw the lack of biodiversity as a threat to the altruistic nature of blood donation from
multiple donors.


                 This paper is about a research project which looked at the
views of various publics towards the use of stem-cell-derived red blood cells for
transfusion. During the course of the research it was found that many partici-
pants compared this new technology with that of genetically modified (GM)
crops. In this paper I discuss how, in interviews and focus groups, GM crops
were used to describe a perceived lack ofbiodiversity. I introduce the transition
to cultured red blood cells as a continuation of historical aspects of blood
donation, to show the transition from donor gift to potential laboratory project.
I will also look at the attitudes towards GM crops in the UK, to discuss how a
perceived lack ofbiodiversity and the 'scientification' of nature are regarded as
inherently more risky.

    DOI 10.7590/221354015X'4488767262796
    The author acknowledges the assistance of the many people who contributed to this research,
    particularly Professor Catherine Lyall. I thank Dr Joanne Mountford and the other members
    of the Novosang consortium for information and support throughout the project. The financial
    support of the Scottish Funding Council is acknowledged (SFC Grant Number 227208694).

Journal of Medical Law and Ethics 2015-3

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