The Ethics of Radiological Protection


First Thomas S. Tenforde Topical Lecture, 51st NCRP Annual Meeting, Bethesda, MA, USA, 17 March 2015


The system of radiological protection is based on three pillars: science, ethical and social values, and experience. As far as ethics is concerned the system combines the values of beneficence/maleficence, prudence, justice and dignity. Beneficence and non-maleficence are directly related to the aim to prevent deterministic effects and reduce the risk of stochastic effects. Prudence is the cornerstone of the system that allows taking into account uncertainties concerning both deterministic and stochastic effects of radiation on health. Justice is the way to ensure social equity and fairness in decisions related to protection. Over the past decade the system has also integrated procedural values such as, stakeholder involvement, right to know, informed consent and self-help protection, reflecting the importance to properly inform and also preserve the autonomy and dignity of persons potentially or actually exposed to radiation.

Download the Lecture: A1236