Hungarian TV Viewers' Responses
Our Hungarian colleagues took eight cases from the survey to the Hungarian public, in the “Health for All” TV program. This 30-minute program was shown once per month on TV Channel II (one of Hungary's three national channels) in the late afternoon on Thursdays, in general between 5 and 6 p.m. The estimated size of the viewing audience (“the public”) was between 0.8 and 1 million. The cases constituted the introductory part of the “Health for All” program, and each received about 10 minutes. One of us (A.E.C.) wrote a screenplay for each case with the roles played by amateur actors and actresses. Afterward, the medical genetics and social implications of the issue were discussed. At the end of this discussion, viewers were asked to express their opinions by responding to fixed questions from the international survey. These questions were shown on the TV program, and viewers were informed that the text of the play and discussion, and the questions would also be published in a popular women's magazine. The magazine presented the questions in a “box” at the end of the text. Thus people had two possibilities to express their opinions: (1) reply to the questions and cut out the box from the text of the magazine and mail it to the Editor or (2) call the telephone numbers of our Family Planning Clinic, which were used for this purpose during the study period. One-third of the replies were mailed, two-thirds were received by telephone. Unfortunately, we have no knowledge about the sex of the respondents (however, the great majority of people who responded by telephone were women), nor did we learn the age, professional background, or other personal information of respondents. In addition to the telephone calls and mailed-in responses, we received more than 50 letters were sent to us with special personal opinions.
KeywordsDown Syndrome Family Planning Clinic Ethical Conviction Transportation Department Surgical Sterilization
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