Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 3–11 | Cite as

Ethical issues in nanomedicine: Tempest in a teapot?

  • Irit Allon
  • Ahmi Ben-Yehudah
  • Raz Dekel
  • Jan-Helge Solbakk
  • Klaus-Michael Weltring
  • Gil Siegal
Scientific Contribution


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.


Enhancement Ethics Nanomedicine Nanotechnology Risk Safety Social justice Uncertainty 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irit Allon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ahmi Ben-Yehudah
    • 1
  • Raz Dekel
    • 3
  • Jan-Helge Solbakk
    • 4
  • Klaus-Michael Weltring
    • 5
  • Gil Siegal
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Chief Scientists OfficeMinistry of HealthJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Oral Pathology and Oral MedicineTel-Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Head of Occupational Medicine ServicesMinistry of HealthTel AvivIsrael
  4. 4.Centre for Medical Ethics FacultyMedicine University of OsloOsloNorway
  5. 5.WG Ethics at the European Technology Platform for NanomedicineMünsterGermany
  6. 6.University of Virginia School of LawCharlottesvilleUSA
  7. 7.Gertner Institute of Public Policy, Ministry of HealthOno Academic CollegeKiryat OnoIsrael
  8. 8.Center for Health Law, Bioethics and Health PolicyOno Academic CollegeKiryat OnoIsrael

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