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What Constitutes Adequate Public Consultation? Xenotransplantation Proceeds in Australia


The Australian moratorium on human clinical trials of xenotransplantation was lifted in December 2009. This decision follows public consultations on whether xenotransplantation should or should not proceed in Australia, which occurred in 2002 and 2004. However, the public consultation, in its design and process, did not facilitate meaningful public engagement and involvement, thus marginalising the public and devaluing their social experiences and diverse knowledges. This brief article questions what constitutes adequate public consultation, and suggests that consensus conferences or citizen juries should be explored as a mechanism for meaningful public engagement for future public consultation exercises in Australia.

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Correspondence to Peta S. Cook.

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Cook, P.S. What Constitutes Adequate Public Consultation? Xenotransplantation Proceeds in Australia. Bioethical Inquiry 8, 67–70 (2011).

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  • Xenotransplantation
  • Public participation
  • Decision-making
  • Persuasive communication
  • Policy development
  • Consensus development