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Enthusiastic portrayal of 3D bioprinting in the media: Ethical side effects


Gilbert, F and Viana, JNM and O'Connell, CD and Dodds, S, Enthusiastic portrayal of 3D bioprinting in the media: Ethical side effects, Bioethics, 32, (2) pp. 94-102. ISSN 1467-8519 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gilbert, F., Viana, J. N. M., O'Connell, C. D., Dodds, S., 2018. Enthusiastic portrayal of 3D bioprinting in the media: Ethical side effects, Bioethics, 32,(2), 94-102, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions."

DOI: doi:10.1111/bioe.12414


There has been a surge in mass media reports extolling the potential for using three-dimensional printing of biomaterials (3D bioprinting) to treat a wide range of clinical conditions. Given that mass media is recognized as one of the most important sources of health and medical information for the general public, especially prospective patients, we report and discuss the ethical consequences of coverage of 3D bioprinting in the media. First, we illustrate how positive mass media narratives of a similar biofabricated technology, namely the Macchiarini scaffold tracheas, which was involved in lethal experimental human trials, influenced potential patient perceptions. Second, we report and analyze the positively biased and enthusiastic portrayal of 3D bioprinting in mass media. Third, we examine the lack of regulation and absence of discussion about risks associated with bioprinting technology. Fourth, we explore how media misunderstanding is dangerously misleading the narrative about the technology.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:3D bioprinting, bias reporting, experimental trial, human trial, media, risk of harms, tissue engineering
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Ethical use of new technology
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Bioethics
UTAS Author:Gilbert, F (Dr Frederic Gilbert)
UTAS Author:Viana, JNM (Mr Noel Viana)
UTAS Author:Dodds, S (Professor Susan Dodds)
ID Code:122777
Year Published:2018 (online first 2017)
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE150101390)
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-11-28
Last Modified:2019-01-15
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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