Vol 37 No Supple 1 (2008)


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    Ever-increasing advances in the field of bioethics have been encouraged by recent developments of biomedical technolo-gies. Stem cell research and therapy are among the most promising approaches in medicine of which are raised some ethical chal¬lenges. Likewise, the therapeutic potential of stem cell-based therapies created new policy concerns for health care sys¬tems, particularly the issue of equity, priority in resource allocation and justice. There are arguments against and in favor of funding for stem cell research. Governments have also diverse policies in en¬couraging private sector sponsorship to support researches. Iran is one of the pioneers in the field of human embry¬onic stem cell research in the region. The religious de¬crees per¬mitting therapeutic purposes have paved the way for wide-ranging researches. Indeed, the researchers have an obli¬gation to observe moral values. Therefore, the national specific guideline for gamete and embryo research, com¬piled in 2005, is followed in this issue. In this paper, we will discuss the major ethical concerns relating to the issue of equity and justice, and will review the regulatory policies for stem cell research and therapy. On the whole, stem cell research is a global enterprise about which there is a need to think in the context of glob¬alisation and also from the perspective of the developing countries. Stem cell based therapies are expensive and tech¬nologically demanding, the low-resource healthcare systems need to consider a specific national policy and to weigh up costs and benefits to consider making such treatments available. We must ensure that rights, values and wel¬fare of the donor, recipient and the community are respected.

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    Nanotechnology is considered as an industrial revolution of the third millennium. Advances have a remarkable impact on differ¬ent fields such as medicine, engineering, economy and even politics. However, a wide range of ethical issues has been raised by this innovative science. Many authorities believe that these advancements could lead to irreversible dis¬asters if not lim¬ited by ethical guidelines. Involvement of developing countries in new fields of science could be as¬sociated with substan¬tial advantages. In this paper, we intend to review main ethical issues of nanotechnology, taking into account the surge of interests in this field and the ever-increasing advances of nanotechnology in Iran. The issue of safety, considering envi¬ronmental and ecological impacts of nanoparticles (smart dust), and standards of customer aware¬ness are important de¬bates. The ‘Grey-goo' scenario and the concerns about ‘post-humanism' are also discussed by bioethicists. There are further con¬cerns about justice, intellectual property rights, accountability, and the probability of military and security misuse.
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    Recent advances in organ transplantation have promised certain benefits to humankind. Consequently, it is neces¬sary to take into consideration all aspects of these new approaches and provide specific ethical guidelines for re¬search in this field. Con¬sidering the ever-increasing advancements of transplantation in Iran and noting the necessity of scientific researches in this field, and to observe ethical principles in such researches, compilation of the "Na¬tional Ethical Guidelines for Transplanta¬tion Researches", as one topic of the "Specific National Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research" were considered in our coun¬try. We stated some points of this guideline in this article.
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    Nursing is a universal health care necessity. Nursing profession, similar to the other medical professions, is responsible to maintain public health promotion, prevent diseases, and also care and rehabilitate client, family and the soci¬ety. The inher-ent nature of nursing is respect for moral values and human rights. However, clinical ethical dilem¬mas occur for nurses at all levels, not always concerning patients. Although this is the primary area of concern, it is relevant to all areas of nursing practice and every aspect of their professional roles including research activity, education and management. The ethical codes of nursing, which set out the ethical behaviors expected of registered nurses, are considered indisputable with regard to nursing practice. There are some national codes in the world but the international code of ethics for nurses was first adopted by the International Council of Nurses. The current paper gives an overview of nursing ethics history, which will be followed by the study on the promotion and dissemination of the nursing ethical codes and guidelines. The concepts, topics and strategies of some codes will be stated in this paper. The present study also aims to emphasize nursing ethics in Iran. Despite the compiling of general and specific guidelines of biomedical research in Iran during recent decade, there have been limited activities on the issue of nursing codes of ethics. Iranian nurses should be educated and fully prepared to en-gage with ethical is¬sues in the field of nursing. Given the importance of sociocultural issues, it is necessary to compile nurs-ing codes of ethics according to Islamic culture of Iran

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    My main question in this article is as follows: "to which extent cultural diversity should be permitted to influence bio-ethical judgments?" There are cultural heritages, values and traditions which are acceptable and respectable and there are ones which are not so. In this article I concluded that our reasoning based on common ethical sense can guide us through such differentiations. Human dignity as a common notion among most alive cultures and religions thorough the world, can be relied for sketching a plan for further dialogues in this regard.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 71 | views: 215 | pages: 31-38

    Principlism, in general and Four Principles Approach in particular is largely discussed in current medical ethics. Accord­ing to principlism, the ethical relationship between physician and patient has to be categorized based on some princi­ples, the prin­ciples which are general, action-guiding and could help both the patient and the physician to arrange their ethical behav­ior. Four Principles Approach which is a principlistic view, has formulated the princi­ples which have to be considered in medi­cal ethics in the light of Rossian ethical framework as follows: respect for auton­omy, nonmalefi­cience, beneficence and jus­tice. Ethical Particularism, on the other hand, strongly criticizes princi­plism and repudi­ates the very idea of generalizabil­ity in the realm of ethics. According to particularists, the way in which a mor­ally relevant feature like fidelity and justice be­have in different ethical occasions is fully con­text-dependent so that they can­not be patternable in advance. It follows from this that fidelity, for instance, is not a good-making feature, generally speak­ing.
    In this paper, firstly, the Rossian ethics is discussed in order to make Four Principles Approach intelligible. Sec­ondly, the main particularists' argument against principlism is formulated. Finally, Particularists' argument is evalu­ated and its plau­si­bility is discussed.

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    Background: One of the domains of scientific activities is working on animals. Performing experiments on animals is per­missible only with the purpose of obtaining necessary information for saving and improving life of human be­ings or ani­mals. Principally, all religions believe that human life is more valuable than animal life and humans have a God-given au­thority over animals, but they should not be cruel to animals and cause their pain or suffering. Based on Islamic view points, al­though Allah has put the Man as the lord of all creatures, he has not the right to use other crea­tures for any conditions and does not respect their real statues. Because of the widespread use of experimental ani­mals in our country, special ethical codes should be redefined for living conditions of experimental animals based on the present regulations in Iran and also other countries. Therefore, all our researchers should have enough informa­tion about ethical codes of treating experimental ani­mals as well as Islamic principles in this regard.

    Methods: All Islamic and international sources related to treating animals and also valid international ethical guide­lines were collected and classified in order to extract the aimed points. Then all extracted points were reviewed by ex­perts famil­iar with Islamic and ethical rules of treating animals.

    Results: Finally the strategies for appropriate and complete implementation of the national ethical guidelines of ani­mal re­search in Iran were suggested.

    Conclusion: It is obvious that the suggested principles are applicable only with appropriate planning of training courses based on the facilities and needs of our country.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 78 | views: 268 | pages: 47-49

    Pharmacy, being a profession which its activities are directly related to the health and wellbeing of the people and soci­ety has been described an ethical profession from earliest time. In the recent decades there has been a shift in the phar­macist role from dispensing to relationship with patients and health care providers and interfere the therapeutic process. Other branches of pharmacy such as producers, distributors and etc. will certainly have the same responsibilities. In this respect, student of pharmacy, besides his professional education needs learning social, behavioral, communicational sciences as well as the principles code of pharmaceutical ethics. Therefore, teaching and learning principles code of ethics seems as an obli­gation. These principles are a guide to the standards of conduct. Furthermore, rapid progress of biotechnology, nanotech­nology and increase cost of new drugs are factors presented the importance of the study of eth­ics in pharmacy. Therefore, setting syllabus in pharmacy law and ethics is a need for undergraduate and even post­graduate students. The code, therefore attempts to define principles to be born in mind. It is the pharmacist who must interpret them in the light of pharmacy prac­tice.