Advertisement

NanoEthics

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 291–295 | Cite as

Safer by Design and Trump Rights of Citizens

  • Angela KallhoffEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

The debate on “safer by design” has primarily been focused on strategies to render products safer during the design process. This article focuses on correlated basic legal rights of citizens. The reference to “trump rights” is helpful in highlighting two normative claims: Firstly, products that are “safer by design” are suitable instruments to protect the bodily integrity and health of potential users. Both figure as trump rights in Ronald Dworkin’s sense. In this perspective, “safer by design” strategies can guarantee some most basic rights of citizens. Secondly, the debate on trump rights also suggests that safety needs to be regarded as part of a more comprehensive normative framework. Even trump rights are competitive in that a plurality of rights needs to be respected. A final section gives evidence that both claims resonate with recent insights in debate on the precautionary principle. This section also highlights the recent emphasis on environmental concerns.

Keywords

Precaution Trump right Safer by design Privacy by design Environmental ethics 

References

  1. 1.
    Cavoukian A (2009) Privacy by design… take the challenge. Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Van de Poel I (2001) Investigating ethical issues in engineering design. Sci Eng Ethics 7:429–446.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-001-0064-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dworkin R (1984) Rights as trumps. In: Waldron J (ed) Theories of rights. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 153–167Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bruce D (2006) Nano-2-life ethics—a scoping paper on ethical and social issues in nanobiotechnologies. In: Ach J, Siep L (eds) Nano-bio-ethics. Ethical dimensions of nanobiotechnology. LIT, Berlin, pp 63–84Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kulve H, Konrad K, Palavicino CA, Walhout B (2013) Context matters: promises and concerns regarding nanotechnologies for water and food applications. NanoEthics 7(1):17–27.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11569-013-0168-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Li Z, Sheng C (2014) Nanosensors for food safety. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 14(1):905–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gewirth A (1981) Are there any absolute rights? In: Waldron J (ed) (1984) Theories of rights. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 81–109Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dworkin R (1977) Taking rights seriously. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MassGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kallhoff A (2016) The normative limits of consumer citizenship. J Agric Environ Ethics 29(1):23–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dupuy J-P, Grinbaum A (2005) Living with uncertainty: toward the ongoing normative assessment of nanotechnology. Techné 8(2):4–25Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sollie P (2009) On uncertainty in ethics and technology. In: Düwell M, Sollie P (eds) Evaluating new technologies methodological problems for the ethical assessment of technology developments. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 141–158Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    McGinn R (2010) Ethical responsibilities of nanotechnology researchers: a short guide. NanoEthics 4(1):1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11569-010-0082-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lucivero F, Swierstra T, Boenink M (2011) Assessing expectations: towards a toolbox for an ethics of emerging technologies. NanoEthics 5(2):129–141.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11569-011-0119-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bachmann A (2006) Nanobiotechnologie. Eine ethische Auslegeordnung. (Eidgenössische Ethikkommission für Biotechnologie im Ausserhumanbereich EKAH und Ariane Willemsen, Bern, Hrsg.). Bundesamt für Bauten und Logistik BBL, Bern, SchweizGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hongladarom S (2012) The disenhancement problem in agriculture: a reply to Thompson. NanoEthics 6(1):47–54.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11569-012-0138-2
  16. 16.
    Gardiner SM (2006) A core precautionary principle. J Polit Philos 14:33–60Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hourdequin M (2007) Doing, allowing and precaution. Environmental Ethics 29:339–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sandin P (1999) Dimensions of the precautionary principle. Human Ecological Risk Assessment 5:889–907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Soule E (2002) Assessing the precautionary principle. Public Aff Q 14(4):309–328Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Thalos M (2012) Precaution has its reasons. In: Kabasenche WP, O’Rourke M, Slater MH (eds) The environment. Philosophy, science, and ethics. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp 171–184Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gardiner SM (2011) A perfect moral storm. The ethical tragedy of climate change. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Oughton DH, Agüero A, Avila R, Brown JE, Copplestone D, Gilek M (2008) Addressing uncertainties in the ERICA integrated approach. J Environ Radioact 99:1384–1392Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Oughton DH, Howard BJ (2012) The social and ethical challenges of radiation risk management. Ethics, Policy & Environment 15(1):71–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jamieson D (2014) Reason in a dark time. Why the struggle against climate change failed—and what it means for our future. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Faunce T (2012) Nanotechnology for a sustainable world: global artificial photosynthesis as nanotechnology’s moral culmination. Edward Elgar, NorthamptonGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Myhr AI, Myskia BK (2011) Precaution or integrated responsibility approach to nanovaccines in fish farming? A critical appraisal of the UNESCO precautionary principle. NanoEthics 5(1):73–86.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11569-011-0112-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fakultät für Philosophie und Bildungswissenschaft der Universität WienWienAustria

Personalised recommendations