Fritz Allhoff, “The Coming Era of Nanomedicine”, American Journal of Bioethics 9.10 (2009): 3-11. Featured as Target Article with direct replies by Summer Johnson, Ellen McGee, Ronald Sandler, and Tihamer Toth-Fejel. Response issued as “Response to Commentators on ‘The Coming Era of Nanomedicine’”. Reprinted (in slightly modified form) as “Trends in Nanomedicine” in Thomas J. Webster (ed.), Nanomedicine: Technologies and Applications (Oxford: Woodhead Publishing, 2012), pp. 20-35. Reprinted (in slightly modified form) in Ronald Sander (ed.), Ethics and Emerging Technologies (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave McMillan, 2014): 155-166. Reprinted (in slightly modified form) in Raj Bawa, Gerald F. Audette, and Israel Rubinstein (eds.), Handbook of Clinical Nanomedicine: Nanoparticles, Imaging, Therapy, and Clinical Applications (Singapore: Pan Stanford Publishing, 2015): 103-127.
Abstract: In this essay, I will present some general background on nanomedicine, particularly focusing on some of the investment that is being made in this emerging field (§1). The bulk of the essay, though, will consist in explorations of two areas in which the impacts of nanomedicine are likely to be most significant: diagnostics and medical records (§2) and treatment (§3), including surgery and drug delivery. Under each discussion, I will survey some of the ethical and social issues that are likely to arise in these applications.