Ethical Issues in Technological Disaster: A Systematic Review of Literature

Arch Bone Jt Surg. 2018 Jul;6(4):269-276.


Background: Industrialization could bring risk of Technological Disaster (TD) such as happened in Chernobyl, Bhopal and Fukushima crisis. Little has been discussed about its related ethical issues. In this study, we aimed to investigate ethical issues have been stated for technological disasters.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted on the main international literature databases including Pubmed, Embase, Scopus and ISI (Jan 1, 2000 to Jan 1, 2018). From 64articles were eligible for investigation of ethical issues in Natural disaster, 6 was related to Technological Disaster. The articles were in English language.

Results: Our result show that there are seven articles discussing ethical issues during Technological disaster. All of them are related to nuclear crisis in Fukushima resulting from Japan tsunami 2011. These articles discussed mainly three ethical issues in providing medical care to victims of Technological Disasters as follow: 1- Duty of care 2- Mandatory evacuationand3- Resource Allocation.

Conclusion: Victim health is the main factor for making decision and implementation of any programs during response to disasters. Mandatory Evacuation for reasons other than providing health to people (such as: maintain public order) and if bring health risk to people will be unjustified. Duty of health workers for providing care is based on General beneficence meanwhile it is necessary to provide facilities to protect them from dangers that treat them in the field. For act ethically, Health workers must have adequate preparedness for response to T-D meanwhile it is necessary to provide guidelines for individuals that participation in relief operation. It is necessary to discuss more about Technological Disaster Ethics especially in industrial countries and where there is especial industrial with potential of huge crises.

Keywords: Duty of care; Mandatory evacuation; Medical Ethics; Resource Allocation; Systematic review; Technological-disaster.

Publication types

  • Review