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As seen in the previous section, nanotechnology holds the promise to redesign the realm of medicine as we know it nowadays, because it basically provides new dramatic tools to prevent diseases, promote health, and alleviate human sufiering, which are surely among our strongest mandate. Having this huge impact, a potential for both great good or even great harm, the nanofuture certainly represents the latest stage toward which ethics is called to focus. Physicist Freeman Dyson once stated, “Progress of science is destined to bring enormous confusion andmisery tomankind unless it is accompanied by progress in ethics” [1]. Ethics, in fact, has always provided a rational approach to moral dilemmas, and bioethics has expanded rapidly in recent decades to specifically address them in life sciences. Dilemmas in innovation technology are common, and no big surprise if they are also gradually arising as part of the initial difiusion of nanotechnology-driven solutions to healthcare needs [2]. Aiming to better analyze and understand those dilemmas, while moving our scientific research at the maximum speed for the sake of its benefits, in this section of the book we will cover the themes of risk assessment, risk management, risk communication, and research and development regulations, and finally we will discuss the concerns associated with human enhancement.

Original publication

DOI

10.1201/b18875

Type

Chapter

Book title

Commercializing Nanomedicine: Industrial Applications, Patents, and Ethics

Publication Date

01/01/2015

Pages

111 - 118