Societal impacts of regenerative medicine: reflections on the views of orthopedic professionals

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As the amount of clinical studies in orthopedic regenerative medicine (RM) is increasing, it is time to take into account its impact on society. A total of 36 biomedical professionals working at the front row of orthopedic RM were interviewed to explore their attitudes, opinions and expectations regarding the societal impacts of RM. Professionals mainly recognized the societal impacts of counteraction of aging, prevention of disease and social justice. The ‘soft’ sides of these impacts were hardly mentioned. Whereas they did not perceive themselves in the position to mitigate these impacts, professionals should take up their role as actor and become involved in the societal debate. This is important as they can co-shape the societal impacts during the developmental process of technologies and thereby stimulate responsible innovation.

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