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Why do patients choose not to donate tissue?

When patients have adequate information, donating surgically removed human tissue to commercial research is not a contentious issue, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

At Peterborough District Hospital, a trained nurse interviews patients before their operation and, with consent, surplus tissue is collected and supplied for commercial research.

Researchers reviewed 3,140 interviews and recorded reasons why patients refused to donate tissue, and whether involvement of commercial companies was an influencing factor.

Overall, 38 patients refused to allow their tissue to be used for commercial research. Only two patients cited commercial involvement as the main reason for refusal. Other reasons included incidents at Alder Hey and Bristol, extreme anxiety, and perceived lack of time to make a decision.

Patients awaiting surgery are often pleased and even grateful to have been given an opportunity to play a part in research, which could in the future possibly benefit other people including their family, say the authors. A minority of patients will always be hostile, difficult to communicate with, or apprehensive about forthcoming surgery and will choose not to donate tissue.


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Contact: Emma Dickinson
edickinson@bmj.com
44-207-383-6529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
31-Jul-2003


Page: 1

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