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


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Gilbert, F ORCID: 0000-0003-0524-8649, Viana, JNM, O'Connell, CD and Dodds, S ORCID: 0000-0003-0292-9983 2017 , 'Enthusiastic portrayal of 3D bioprinting in the media: Ethical side effects' , Bioethics, vol. 32, no. 2 , pp. 94-102 , doi: 10.1111/bioe.12414.

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Gilbert, F and Viana, JNM and O'Connell, CD and Dodds, S
Keywords: 3D bioprinting, bias reporting, experimental trial, human trial, media, risk of harms, tissue engineering
Journal or Publication Title: Bioethics
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN: 1467-8519
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/bioe.12414
Copyright Information:

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."

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