Preprint Communication Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Altruistic Participation in (Bio)medical Experiments on Both Sides of the European Rabbit Borderline

Version 1 : Received: 8 October 2020 / Approved: 12 October 2020 / Online: 12 October 2020 (12:09:32 CEST)

How to cite: Rijkers, G.T.; Max, S. Altruistic Participation in (Bio)medical Experiments on Both Sides of the European Rabbit Borderline. Preprints 2020, 2020100235 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0235.v1). Rijkers, G.T.; Max, S. Altruistic Participation in (Bio)medical Experiments on Both Sides of the European Rabbit Borderline. Preprints 2020, 2020100235 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0235.v1).

Abstract

(1) Background: In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy a subject participating in a (bio) medical experiment is termed a guinea pig. In Germany (Versuchskaninchen), The Netherlands, all of Scandinavia, and most of Eastern Europe, the term rabbit is used for such a subject. We have searched for potential differences in attitudes towards biomedical research by inhabitants of the respective European countries by making an analysis of frequency and motivation to participate in biomedical experiments on both sides of the European rabbit borderline. (2) Methods: We have performed an analysis of the use of experimental animals for research in European countries as well as country specific scientific output in PubMed indexed literature. Attitudes towards biomedical research in European countries was derived from EU questionnaires. (3) Results: In biomedical experiments with animals, more guinea pigs are used in laboratories in “rabbit countries” than in “guinea pig countries”. Inhabitants of “rabbit countries” have a higher participation rate in biomedical experiments and donation of blood than people from “guinea pig” countries. The reasons to participate in a medical experiment are not purely altruistic, especially in “rabbit countries”. (4) Conclusions: inhabitants of European countries in which a person who participates in a biomedical experiment is labeled as an (experimental) rabbit participate more in biomedical experiments as well as tissue and organ donation. Motives to do so are not just altruistic, because financial reasons also play a role.

Subject Areas

guinea pig; rabbit; Versuchskaninchen; animals experiments; organ donation; biomedical experiments; altruism

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