pp. 242-248 in Bioethics for the People by the People, Darryl R. J. Macer, Ph.D., Eubios Ethics Institute 1994.

Copyright 1994, Darryl R. J. Macer. All commercial rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced for limited educational or academic use, however please enquire with Eubios Ethics Institute.

International Bioethics Survey Questionnaire


The questionnaires are adjusted for the Internet communication, further details are available from Darryl Macer. It is hoped that this survey, or some of the questions from it can be used by other researchers around the world and comparisons made. Although the free and unrestricted use of this survey is encouraged, contact beforehand may enable simultaneous use of modified questions which may explore attitudes and perceptions in better ways... This is intended as an ongoing project to look at bioethical reasoning around the world.

International Bioethics Survey

Dear Householder,
Your household has been randomly selected for an international opinion survey, which is being conducted in about 10 countries of the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Europe, India, Israel, Japan, North America, Russia and Thailand.
Society is facing many important decisions about the use of science and technology. These decisions affect the environment, medicine, society and international policy. We would like to find out what you think about science and technology, and some of the ethical issues that the application of technology raises.
This survey is being conducted by researchers at universities in different countries. We are independent of industry and government. The complete results will be published and also presented to governments and scientists around the world and the United Nations.
In order to maintain your privacy we have delivered this questionnaire into your letter box at random, we do not know who you are, so please give us your candid opinion. You will not receive any further letter from us, we only hope that the importance of the subject encourages you to respond. This is the first time for such a survey to be conducted in so many regions of the world to obtain the opinions of ordinary people, therefore your answer is very important.
We would like the member of your family over 15 years old whose birthday is next to answer it, to make it random. But, if they do not want to answer it, then someone else can answer it.
It can be completed in 15-20 minutes, but you are encouraged to write more if you wish. If you find a question difficult to answer, we would still like your answers to the others.
We cannot reward you for your cooperation,* but we hope that this survey will have some influence on government and international policy, and will make the world a better place to live in for ourselves and our children.
Please return the completed questionnaire in the enclosed Reply Paid envelope, within two weeks of receiving it if possible.
Thank you for your cooperation and time,
Yours sincerely,


Professor Darryl Macer,
New Zealand Representative,

International Bioethics Survey,
Freepost 1629,
P.O. Box 5287,
Papanui, Christchurch.

* If you wish to receive a summary of the results of this survey you can return the bottom of this letter. It will be separated from the questionnaire upon opening the envelope to ensure your comments remain anonymous.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, please send me a copy of the summary of results:

Name: ________________________________
Address: ________________________________


International Bioethics Survey


Please circle your answer for each question (e.g. 1 ), and write your comments.

Q1. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
1 Agree Strongly 2 Agree 3 Neither 4 Disagree 5 Disagree Strongly

a. Science makes an important contribution to the quality of life.
b. Most problems can be solved by applying more and better technology.
c. The natural environment has a valuable property that humans should not tamper with.
d. Genetically modified plants and animals will help agriculture become less dependent on chemical pesticides.
e. Students should be informed about the social issues associated with science and technology so that they can participate in contemporary debates.
f. A woman can abort a 4 month old fetus.
g. A woman can abort a 4 month old fetus that has congenital abnormalities.
h. A married couple can use a surrogate mother and in vitro fertilisation if they cannot get pregnant themselves.
i. Animals have rights that people should not violate.

Q2. During the past 12 months have you...?
1 Yes 2 No 3 Don't know
a. Bought foods labeled as "pesticide free"
b. Stopped buying a product because it caused environmental problems
c. Contributed money or time to an environmental cause
d. Changed your life style in significant ways to protect the environment
e. Stopped eating a certain food because of concerns over its safety
f. Sorted out certain types of household waste (glass, papers, ...) for recycling
g. Saved energy, for example, by using less hot water, by closing doors and windows in winter to save heat

Q3. Which of these statements best describes your interest in science and technology?
1 Not at all interested
2 Not very interested
3 Interested
4 Very Interested
5 Extremely Interested

Q4. Overall do you think science and technology do more harm than good, more good than harm, or about the same of each?
1 More harm 2 More good 3 Same 4 Don't know

Q5. Can you tell me how much you have heard or read about each of these subjects?
1 Not heard of
2 Heard of
3 Could explain it to a friend
Agricultural Pesticides
In vitro fertilisation
Computers
Biotechnology
Nuclear power
AIDS
Human gene therapy
Genetic engineering

Q6. Do you personally believe each of these scientific discoveries and developments is a worthwhile area for scientific research? Why?...
1Yes 2 No 3 Don't know
Why?...

In vitro fertilisation

Computers

Biotechnology

Nuclear power

Agricultural Pesticides

Genetic engineering

Q7. Do you have any worries about the impact of research or its applications of these scientific discoveries and developments? How much? Why?..
1No 2 A few 3 Some 4 A lot
Why?...

In vitro fertilisation

Computers

Biotechnology

Nuclear power

Agricultural Pesticides

Genetic engineering

Q8. What things are the source of your feelings about Q6 and Q7?

Please list all:

Q9. Genes from most types of organisms are interchangeable. Would potatoes made more nutritious through biotechnology be acceptable or unacceptable to you if genes were added from another type of plant, such as corn?
1 Acceptable 2 Unacceptable 3 Don't know

Why? ....

Q10. Would such potatoes be acceptable or unacceptable to you if the new genes came from an animal?
1 Acceptable 2 Unacceptable 3 Don't know

Why? ....

Q11. Would chicken made less fatty through biotechnology be acceptable or unacceptable if genes were added to the chicken from another type of animal?
1 Acceptable 2 Unacceptable 3 Don't know

Why? ....

Q12. Would such chicken be acceptable or unacceptable if the genes came from a human?
1 Acceptable 2 Unacceptable 3 Don't know

Why? ....

Q13. Before today, were you aware that genetically modified organisms, such as bacteria, plants and animals, are being used to produce food and medicines?
1 Yes 2 No

Q14. If any of the following were to be produced from genetically modified organisms, would you have any concerns about using them? How much? Why?

1No 2 A few 3 Some 4 A lot
Why?...

Dairy products
Vegetables
Meat
Medicines

Q15. Will you please express freely, in sentences and/or pictures, the images which come to mind when you hear the word "nature", and/or any ideas you have on "nature".







Q16. Some genetic diseases can be predicted in the fetus during the early stages of pregnancy. Do you think such tests should be available under government-funded Medicare?

1 Yes 2 No 3 Don't know
Why? ....

Q17. Would you want such a test during (your/your spouse's) pregnancy?

1 Yes 2 No 3 Don't know
Why? ....

Q18. What frequency of a genetic disease do you think is a high risk?

2% 5% 10% 20% 50%

Q19. Do you know anyone who has a genetic disease? What disease(s)?

1 No 2 Yes

Q20. How do you feel towards people that have the following genetic diseases?

Hemophilia:

Muscular dystrophy:

Q21. If someone is a carrier of a defective gene or has a genetic disease, who else besides that person deserves to know that information?
1 Yes 2 No 3 Don't Know
a. Employer
b. Insurer
c. Spouse or fiance
d. Other immediate family

Q22. How do you feel towards people that are HIV-infected or have AIDS?


Q23. If someone has HIV (the AIDS virus), who else besides that person deserves to know that information?
1 Yes 2 No 3 Don't Know
a. Employer
b. Insurer
c. Spouse or fiance
d. Other immediate family

Q24. Do you know anyone who has, or has had, a mental disease? What disease(s)?

1 No 2 Yes

Q25. How do you feel towards people with the following mental diseases?

Mental depression:

Schizophrenia:

Neurosis:

Q26. If tests showed that you were likely to get a serious or fatal genetic disease later in life, how willing would you be to undergo therapy to have those genes corrected before symptoms appear?
1 Very willing
2 Somewhat willing
3 Somewhat unwilling
4 Very unwilling
5 Don't know

Why? ....

Q27. If you had a child with a usually fatal genetic disease, how willing would you be to have the child undergo therapy to have those genes corrected?
1 Very willing
2 Somewhat willing
3 Somewhat unwilling
4 Very unwilling
5 Don't know

Why? ....

Q28. How do you feel about scientists changing the genetic makeup of human cells to:

1 Strongly Approve
2 Somewhat Approve
3 Somewhat Disapprove
4 Strongly Disapprove
5 Don't know

a. Cure a usually fatal disease, such as cancer
b. Reduce the risk of developing a fatal disease later in life
c. Prevent children from inheriting a usually fatal disease
d. Prevent children from inheriting a non-fatal disease, such as diabetes
e. Improve the physical characteristics that children would inherit
f. Improve the intelligence level that children would inherit
g. Make people more ethical h. As an AIDS vaccine

Q29. Suppose that a number of groups made public statements about the benefits and risks of biotechnology products. Would you have a lot of trust, some trust, or no trust in statements made by...?
1 A lot of trust
2 Some trust
3 No trust

a. Government agencies
b. Consumer agencies
c. Companies making biotechnology products
d. Environmental groups
e. University professors
f. Medical doctors
g. Farmers or farm groups
h. Dietitians or nutritionists

Q30. People who create something original can obtain financial reward for their efforts through patents and copyright. In your opinion, for which of the following should people be able to obtain patents and copyright?
1 Approve 2 Disapprove 3 Don't know

New Inventions, such as consumer products
Books and other information
New plant varieties
New animal breeds
Genetic material extracted from plants and animals
Genetic material extracted from humans
A medical treatment or drug to cure AIDS

Q31. If there was no direct risk to humans and only very remote risks to the environment, would you approve or disapprove of the environmental use of genetically engineered organisms designed to produce...?
1 Approve 2 Disapprove 3 Don't know

Tomatoes with better taste
Healthier meat (e.g. less fat)
Larger sport fish
Bacteria to clean up oil spills
Disease resistant crops
Cows which produce more milk

Q32. Will you please express freely, in sentences and/or pictures, the images which come to mind when you hear the word "life", and/or any ideas you have on "life".












Sex: 1 Male 2 Female
Age (years): _________

Race/ethnic origin: 1 Caucasian 2 Asian 3 African 4 Indian 5 Arabic 6 Maori 7 Aboriginal 8 Other ( )

Religion: 1 None 2 Christian 3 Moslem 4 Buddhist 5 Hindu 6 Sikh 7 Jewish 8 Other ( )

In your daily life, do you consider religion to be...?
1 Very important
2 Somewhat important
3 Not too important
4 Not important at all

Occupation: _____________________
(Students: Year: _____ Major: __________ )

Marital status: 1 Single 2 Married 3 Divorced/Widow 4 Other ( )

Children: 1 None 2 Pregnant 3 Number ( )

Education: 1 High School 2 Two year college 3 University graduate 4 Postgraduate degree ( ) 5 Other ( )

Annual family income: 1 <$20,000 2 $20,000 - $35,000 3 $35,000 - $50,000 4 >$50,000

Address: 1 Urban 2 Rural
State/City: __________

Date:___________

Thank you for your time. Please return the questionnaire using the Reply Paid envelope to:

Freepost 1659, International Bioethics Survey, P.O. Box 5287, Papanui, Christchurch.


Please send comments to Prof. Darryl Macer,
Regional Advisor on Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific,
RUSHSAP, UNESCO Bangkok,
920 Sukhumwit Road,
Prakanong, Bangkok
Thailand 10110
Tel: +662 3910577 Ext. 141
Fax: +662-664-3772 Email d.macer@unescobkk.org

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