Ethical issues in nanomedicine: Tempest in a teapot?
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- Allon, I., Ben-Yehudah, A., Dekel, R. et al. Med Health Care and Philos (2017) 20: 3. doi:10.1007/s11019-016-9720-7
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Nanomedicine offers remarkable options for new therapeutic avenues. As methods in nanomedicine advance, ethical questions conjunctly arise. Nanomedicine is an exceptional niche in several aspects as it reflects risks and uncertainties not encountered in other areas of medical research or practice. Nanomedicine partially overlaps, partially interlocks and partially exceeds other medical disciplines. Some interpreters agree that advances in nanotechnology may pose varied ethical challenges, whilst others argue that these challenges are not new and that nanotechnology basically echoes recurrent bioethical dilemmas. The purpose of this article is to discuss some of the ethical issues related to nanomedicine and to reflect on the question whether nanomedicine generates ethical challenges of new and unique nature. Such a determination should have implications on regulatory processes and professional conducts and protocols in the future.