The subject of bioethics probably first began appearing in radiation protection terminology when the reference was being made to the survivors of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This chapter, therefore, referring to the history of radiation protection since X-ray and radium radiation sources, addresses the nightmare of atomic bombs based on a review of original data and endeavors to determine what the role of ethics is in the radiation protection system as applied to our daily lives constituent to these horrific events. Somatic effects, as differentiated from genetic effects, or late somatic effects are discussed, and an introduction to stochastic effects is also made. It should be noted that a linear no-threshold (LNT) model has been widely applied to radiation protection systems in its pragmatism to be applied to regulatory authorities. However, the radiation detriment below 50 mSv/y is not clearly explained so far. Even though it is only a model, some countries couple LNT with stochastic effects, believing that “lesser is better” as far as radiation exposure is concerned, with criteria reaching as low as tens of micro Sieverts/year, which is equivalent to one two-hundredth of the average exposure received from nature in our living environment.
Part of the book: Bioethics in Medicine and Society