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    Responsible risk management: associated basic moral concepts

  • Right : A capacity of action that others are obliged to recognize and respect. A key right in the context of risk is free and informed consent. (See below)
  • Duty : The obligation to recognize and respect the essential capacities of actions of others. Duties are correlative to rights. For example, the duty to avoid paternalism in the management and communication of risk is correlative to the right of free and informed consent.
  • Virtue : Responsible risk management can also be formulated as a virtue. Virtues are traits that extend "deep down" into an individual's character. They include an orientation toward excellence in decision and execution, perceptual sensitivities that help to uncover moral relevance, and emotions/attitudes that help motivate decisions and actions oriented toward achieving excellence. For example, a responsible risk communicator has curiosity that drives understanding and appreciating risk, a concern for the well being of the risk bearer, and a strong desire to communicate risk information truthfully and clearly.
  • Justice : Justice can be generally defined as giving each his or her due. Distributive justice, in the context of risk, prescribes a fair distribution of the benefits and harms associated with taking a certain risk. Ideal pattern approaches argue that distribution should conform to a pattern such as equality (equal shares to everyone), need (greatest share to those with the greatest needs), and merit (greatest share to those who demonstrate superior merit). Ideal pattern approaches require continual redistribution by government through measures such as a progressive income tax. Historical process approaches prefer maintaining current patterns of distribution provided the historical process leading to them has been free of force or fraud. Justice in the context of risk lies in determining how the benefits and harms associated with risk are distributed, and how the uncertainty that permeates the risk assessment and management process is distributed among those involved.
  • Responsibility : Herbert Fingarette defines responsibility (in the context of criminal insanity) as (moral) response to (moral) relevance. Different senses of responsibility include causal, legal (vs. moral), role, capacity, and blame. Responsibility can be reactive when it focuses on the past and the assigning of praise and blame; or it can be proactive when it turns to preventing harm (minimizing risk) and realizing value.
  • Trust : The expectation of moral behavior on the part of others. Trust is built out of the social capital accumulated through successful interactions with others. It is consumed or undermined by those who choose to free ride on social cooperation, i.e., compete while others are cooperating. The prisoner's dilemma (see link above) provides a simplified model to show the fragility of trust (m17367).

    Key terms in risk practices

  • Safety : "A thing is safe if, were its risks fully known, those risks would be judged acceptable in light of settled value principles." (IEE 108)
  • Risk : "A risk is the potential that something unwanted and harmful may occur." (IEE 108)
  • NIMBY : This acronym stands for "Not in my backyard." Citizens often find the risks associated with a project or product acceptable only if these are located somewhere else, i.e., in another person's backyard. NIMBY has made it next to impossible for the U.S. DOE (Department of Energy) to find an acceptable permanent storage facility for nuclear waste.
  • Free and Informed Consent : The right to decide if a risk is acceptable based on access to pertinent information and absence of compulsion. The Belmont Report defines informed consent in the following way: "[that] subjects, to the degree that they are capable, be given the opportunity to choose what shall or shall not happen to them. This opportunity is provided when adequate standards for informed consent are satisfied." The Online Ethics Center spells out conditions necessary for fulfilling informed consent: (a) disclosure (of information to the patient/subject); (b) comprehension (by the patient/subject of the information being disclosed); (c) voluntariness (of the patient/subject in making his/her choice); (d) competence (of the patient/subject to make a decision); and (e) consent (by the patient/subject).
  • Paternalism : Often experts are tempted to act as overly concerned parents and take over the decision-making perogatives of the public because they (the experts) "know better." Paternalism, while well motivated, is based on the misconception that the public doesn't understand risk because it often reaches different conclusions on the acceptability of a given risk than the expert. But the public often appreciates risk from a broader, richer standpoint, especially if the expert has properly and clearly communicated it. As will be seen below, the public perception of risk is rational because it is predictable.

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
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Source:  OpenStax, Civis project - uprm. OpenStax CNX. Nov 20, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11359/1.4
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