Theoretical and Practical Principles on Nanoethics: A Narrative Review Article
Background: Interests in nanotechnology and its application in medical research, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases continuously grow. The study identified the theoretical and practical principles of ethics in developed countries’ nanomedical research to be used as the first step of development of a national nanoethics standard or guideline in Iran and developing countries.
Methods: The present study was done between 2012-2016 in Ethics and Law Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, which comprised a literature review and a comparative study to describe and compare the nanoethics situation and considerations of nanoethics in Australia, Canada, and USA.
Results: The main ethical considerations in the three countries contain two major categories, including firstly, the nature of nanoparticles such as its diversity, rapid development of new and not well-defined nanoproducts and particles and unpredictable side effects of such nanoparticles; and secondly, the application of developed nanoparticles in areas such as justice, privacy protection, patient-physician relations, etc.
Conclusion: It is controversial to develop an independent nanoethics standard or codes; however, national priorities and concerns, as well as specific nanoethics considerations, should be investigated before deciding to create such standards in each country. Overall, careful considerations have to take into account the justice, privacy protection, the inherent risks of nanomaterials and their possible side effects on patients and other study subjects, as well as considering characteristics of new developed nanoproducts and particles.
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