Advertisement

Ethical Aspects of Bioterrorism and Biodefence

  • Elizabeta Ristanovic
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology book series (NAPSA)

Abstract

Bioterrorism is the phenomenon as old as civilization. The use of biological agents in war and subversive actions was recognized as an unhonourable weapon and a crime against humankind even in the ancient time. The development of bioweapons was always the expression of scientific and technological progress resulting in new military aspirations so during the Cold War period the world was even at the edge of the real biological warfare. After the sign of BWC the most powerful state actors prohibited the use of bioweapons but all of them continued the investigations with “biodefence purposes”. Today in the post 9/11 world bioterrorism is recognized as one of the leading security threat of the modern world that should be considered from the socio-political, economic, security, scientific, public-health, ecological and ethical points of view. The scientific progress, especially in the fields of molecular biology, genetic engineering, biotechnology and nanotechnology opened the questions about their possible misuse for improvement of biological weapons and making them more specific and effective (dual-use dilemma). In order to protect humankind and prevent possible misuse of biotechnology and bioterrorism in the world it is necessary to establish an international consensus in bioethical approaches. The ethics questions and considerations in bioterrorism and biodefense must cover multidisciplinary issues including the ethical principles of medicine, fundamental sciences, technology, law, politics, international relations, security, public health, environment, economy and war conducting, each with the unique ethical framework. But it also opens many controversies that will be discussed in the paper. The act of bioterrorism itself also change ethical approaches and make new frame of the ratio between personal, national and international security and open many other questions that should be analyzed.

Keywords

Bioterrorism Biological weapons Biodefence Ethical issues Research 

References

  1. 1.
    Block S (2001) The growing threat of biological weapons. Am Sci 89:28–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ristanovic E (2015) Bioterrorism:prevention and response. Odbrana Media Center, BelgradeGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Samardzic S, Marinkovic T, Marinkovic D, Djuricic B, Ristanovic E, Simovic T, Lako B, Vukov B, Bozovic B, Gligic A (2008) Prevalence of antibodies to Rickettsiae in different regions of Serbia. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 8(2):219–224CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cekanac R, Mladenovic J, Ristanovic E, Lazic S (2010) Epidemiological characteristics of brucellosis in Serbia, 1980–2008. Croat Med J 51(4):337–344CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Loike JD, Fischbach RL (2013) Ethical challenges in biodefense and bioterrorism. J Bioterror Biodef 12:2.  https://doi.org/10.4172/2157-2526.S12-002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Szalados JE (2012) Triaging the fittest: practical wisdom versus logical calculus? Crit Care Med 40:697–698CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Faden RR, Karron RA (2012) The obligation to prevent the next dual-use controversy. Science 335:802–804CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Barras V, Greub G (2014) History of biological warfare and bioterrorism. Clin Microbiol Infect 20(6):497–502CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Grmek MD (1979) Ruses de guerre biologiques dans l’Antiquité. Revue des Études grecques 92(436):141–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eneh OC (2012) Biological weapons – agents for life and environmental de struction. Res J Environ Toxicol 6:65–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wheelis M (2002) Biological warfare at the 1346 siege of Caffa. Emerg Infect Dis 8(9):971–975CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ristanovic E, Gligic A, Atanasievska S, Protic-Djokic V, Jovanović D, Radunović M (2016) Smallpox as actual biothreat: lessons learned from its outbreak in ex-Yugoslavia in 1972. Ann Ist Super Sanita 52(4):587–597PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Robertson AG, Robertson LJ (1995) From asps to allegations: biological warfare in history. Mil Med 160:369–373CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Christopher GW, Cieslak TJ, Pavlin JA, Eitzen EM (1999) Biological warfare: a historical perspective. In: Lederberg J (ed) Biological weapons. Limiting the threat. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp 17–35Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Barenblatt D (2006) A plague upon humanity: the secret genocide of axis Japan’s germ warfare operation. Souvenir Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ristanovic E (2016) Health and security challenges of the 21st century: bioterrorism. ABC-časopis urgentne Med 16(1):8–19Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wheelis M, Dando M (eds) (2006) Deadly cultures: biological weapons since 1945. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Available via http://www.opbw.org/convention/conv.html. Accessed 20 May 2017
  19. 19.
    Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Intelligence (2003) The darker bioweapons future. Available via http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/bw1103.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2017
  20. 20.
    Ehni HJ (2008) Dual use and the ethical responsibility of scientists. Arch Immunol Ther Exp 56(3):147–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Committee on Research Standards and Practices to Prevent the Destructive Application of Biotechnology (2004) Biotechnology research in an age of terrorism: confronting the “dual use” dilemma. National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Berger KM, Wolinetz C, McCarron K, You E, William So K (2012) Bridging science and security for biological research: a dialogue between Universities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Meeting report, Washington DC, February, 2012. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Radakovic S, Marjanovic M, Surbatovic M, Vukcevic G, Jovasevic-Stojanovic M, Ristanovic E (2014) Biological pollutants in indoor air. Vojnosanit Pregl 71(12):1147–1150CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Selgelid MJ (2010) Ethics engagement of the dual use dilemma: progress and potential. In: education and ethics in the life sciences: strengthening the prohibition of biological weapons. Available via http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p51221/pdf/ch012.pdf
  25. 25.
    Selgelid MJ (2009) Governance of dual-use research: an ethical dilemma. Bull World Health Organ 87:720–723CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Douglas T, Savulescu J (2010) Synthetic biology and the ethics of knowledge. J Med Ethics 36(11):687–693CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Jackson RJ, Ramsay AJ, Christensen CD, Beaton S, Hall DF, Ramshaw IA (2001) Expression of mouse interleukin-4 by a recombinant ectromelia virus suppresses cytolytic lymphocyte responses and overcomes genetic resistance to mousepox. J Virol 75(3):1205–1210CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Miller S, Selgelid MJ (2007) Ethical and philosophical consideration of the dual-use dilemma in the biological sciences. Sci Eng Ethics 13(4):523–580CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Cello J, Paul AV, Wimmer E (2002) Chemical synthesis of poliovirus cDNA: generation of infectious virus in the absence of natural template. Science 297(5583):1016–1018CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Rosengard AM, Liu Y, Nie YZ, Jimenez R (2002) Variola virus immune evasion design: expression of a highly efficient inhibitor of human complement. Proc Natl Acad Sci 99(13):8808–8813CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Keiser J (2005) Resurrected influenza virus yields secrets of deadly 1918 pandemic. Science 310(5745):28–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Gibson DG, Glass JI, Lartigue C et al (2010) Creation of a bacterial cell controlled by a chemically synthesized genome. Science 329(5987):52–56CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Chen Y, Yin Z, Shao Z, Xie Q (2015) The Defence of artificial life by synthetic biology from ethical and social aspects. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 25(7):519–524PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Edwards DA, Hanes J, Caponetti G et al (1997) Large porous particles for pulmonary drug delivery. Science 276(5320):1868–1872CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Edwards DA (2002) Delivery of biological agents by aerosols. AICHE J 48(1):2–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Cetto AM (ed) (2000) Science for the twenty-first century. A new commitment. Proceedings of the World Conference of Science, UNESCO, Paris, 2000. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001207/120706e.pdf
  37. 37.
    Hansen TB (2006) Academic and social responsibility of scientists. ISYP J Sci World Aff 2(2):71–92Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    United States Presidental Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (2010) New directions: the ethics of synthetic biology and emerging technology. Washington. Available via http://bioethics.gov/sites/default/files/PCSBI-Synthetic-Biology-Report-12.16.10.pdf. Accessed at 22 May 2017
  39. 39.
    Jain AK (2010) Ethical issues in scientific publication. Indian J Orthop 44(3):235–237CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    WMA (2013) World medical association declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. JAMA 310(20):2191–2194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Bishop LJ, Nolen AL (2001) Animals in research and education: ethical issues. Kennedy Inst Ethics J 11(1):91–112CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Beauchamp TL, Childress JF (2001) Principles of biomedical ethics, 5th edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Buchanan A, Kelley MC (2013) Biodefence and the production of knowledge: rethinking the problem. J Med Ethics 39:195–204CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Kuhla F, Eriksson S, Evers K, Hoglund T (2008) Taking due care: moral obligations in dual use research. Bioethics 22(9):477–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Selgedid MJ (2007) A tale of two studies: ethics, bioterrorism, and the censorship of science. Hast Cent Rep 37(3):35–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (2007) Proposed frame work for the oversight of dual use life sciences research: strategies for minimizing the potential misuse of research information. Available at: http://oba.od.nih.gov/biosecurity/pdf/Framework%20for%20transmittal%200807_Sept07.pdf
  47. 47.
    van Aken J (2006) When risk outweighs benefit: dual-use research needs a scientific cally sound risk–benefit analysis and legally binding biosecurity measures. EMBO Rep 7(SI):S10–S13CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    National Research Council (2011) Challenges and opportunities for education about dual use issues in the life sciences. National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Pesik N, Keim ME, Iserson KV (2001) Terrorism and the ethics of emergency medical care. Ann Emerg Med 37(6):642–646CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Military Medical AcademyUniversity of DefenceBelgradeSerbia

Personalised recommendations