Will forensic use of medical biobanks decrease public trust in healthcare services? Some empirical observations
- Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Author/s: -Bexelius, Christin -Hoeyer, Klaus -Lynöe, Niels
Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Aim: The authors tested the prevalent hypothesis that forensic use of medical biobanks has a negative impact on public trust in healthcare services. Method: A questionnaire was sent to 1,184 inhabitant in the age group 20—80 years in Stockholm County, Sweden, in November 2005. Results: With a response rate of 68.4%, the results showed that a majority (88.1%) of the respondents thought that it would be acceptable for the police to gain access to genetic samples stored in relation to healthcare; 5.6% said no and 6.3% were uncertain. In the case of police access to medical biobanks, a minority (6.3%) indicated that this would have a negative impact on their trust, a larger proportion (37.8%) that it would influence their trust in the healthcare services positively, and 56% stated that it would not affect their trust at all. Conclusion: The hypothesis tested appears to be unfounded. This should cause us to reconsider prevalent assumptions and current policies on the interface of medical and forensic genetics.