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Issues in ethics: the biomaterials crisis

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1 Author(s)

Several major suppliers of material used in medical devices, including Dow Chemical, Dow Corning and DuPont have recently decided not to sell these materials to device manufacturers. Other material suppliers have done the same or are reviewing their policies on this matter. Some of the biomaterials that have been or may soon become unavailable for medical device manufacturing include polyurethane for heart valves, polyethelene for artificial joints and silicone for implants. The withdrawal of biomaterials suppliers is the result of a number of lawsuits filed against materials suppliers by persons claiming to have been injured by medical devices. The largest group consists of plaintiffs in breast implant litigation. The author considers contributing factors in law, the seriousness of the problem and solutions to the problem

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IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 4 )