Survey of Attitudes and Ethical Concerns Related to Gene Therapy Among Medical Students and Postgraduates in China.

Human gene therapy

PubMedID: 26414282

Xiang L, Xiao L, Gou Z, Li M, Zhang W, Wang H, Feng P. Survey of Attitudes and Ethical Concerns Related to Gene Therapy Among Medical Students and Postgraduates in China. Hum Gene Ther. 2015;.
Gene therapy is becoming an important treatment modality for gravely ill patients, and today's medical students and postgraduates are both potential consumers and future providers of gene therapy. Therefore, their attitudes and concerns about gene therapy may directly influence its long-term development and implementation in the clinic. We performed a cross-sectional survey of medical students and postgraduates at West China Medical School of Sichuan University. A custom-designed questionnaire was distributed to 600 students, and 579 were valid (96. 98% response). Most respondents (84. 46%) indicated little prior knowledge about gene therapy. The proportion of respondents considering gene therapy as acceptable ranged from 63. 73% for serious illness to 17. 72% for genetic enhancement. Adverse side effects were the most frequent concern among respondents when asked to imagine that they would receive gene therapy to treat a severe brain-related illness. These results suggest that medical students in China consider gene therapy's acceptability to be rather low, and are most concerned about its adverse side effects.