BackgroundInnovations in technology have contributed to rapid changes in the way that modern biomedical research is carried out. Researchers are increasingly required to endorse adaptive and flexible approaches to accommodate these innovations and comply with ethical, legal and regulatory requirements. This paper explores how Dynamic Consent may provide solutions to address challenges encountered when researchers invite individuals to participate in research and follow them up over time in a continuously changing environment.MethodsAn interdisciplinary workshop jointly organised by the University of Oxford (...) and the COST Action CHIP ME gathered clinicians, researchers, ethicists, lawyers, research participants and patient representatives to discuss experiences of using Dynamic Consent, and how such use may facilitate the conduct of specific research tasks. The data collected during the workshop were analysed using a content analysis approach.ResultsDynamic Consent can provide practical, sustainable and future-proof solutions to challenges related to participant recruitment, the attainment of informed consent, participant retention and consent management, and may bring economic efficiencies.ConclusionsDynamic Consent offers opportunities for ongoing communication between researchers and research participants that can positively impact research. Dynamic Consent supports inter-sector, cross-border approaches and large scale data-sharing. Whilst it is relatively easy to set up and maintain, its implementation will require that researchers re-consider their relationship with research participants and adopt new procedures. (shrink)
Transparency is now a fundamental principle for data processing under the General Data Protection Regulation. We explore what this requirement entails for artificial intelligence and automated decision-making systems. We address the topic of transparency in artificial intelligence by integrating legal, social, and ethical aspects. We first investigate the ratio legis of the transparency requirement in the General Data Protection Regulation and its ethical underpinnings, showing its focus on the provision of information and explanation. We then discuss the pitfalls with respect (...) to this requirement by focusing on the significance of contextual and performative factors in the implementation of transparency. We show that human–computer interaction and human-robot interaction literature do not provide clear results with respect to the benefits of transparency for users of artificial intelligence technologies due to the impact of a wide range of contextual factors, including performative aspects. We conclude by integrating the information- and explanation-based approach to transparency with the critical contextual approach, proposing that transparency as required by the General Data Protection Regulation in itself may be insufficient to achieve the positive goals associated with transparency. Instead, we propose to understand transparency relationally, where information provision is conceptualized as communication between technology providers and users, and where assessments of trustworthiness based on contextual factors mediate the value of transparency communications. This relational concept of transparency points to future research directions for the study of transparency in artificial intelligence systems and should be taken into account in policymaking. (shrink)
In this article, we develop the concept of Transparency by Design that serves as practical guidance in helping promote the beneficial functions of transparency while mitigating its challenges in automated-decision making environments. With the rise of artificial intelligence and the ability of AI systems to make automated and self-learned decisions, a call for transparency of how such systems reach decisions has echoed within academic and policy circles. The term transparency, however, relates to multiple concepts, fulfills many functions, and holds different (...) promises that struggle to be realized in concrete applications. Indeed, the complexity of transparency for ADM shows tension between transparency as a normative ideal and its translation to practical application. To address this tension, we first conduct a review of transparency, analyzing its challenges and limitations concerning automated decision-making practices. We then look at the lessons learned from the development of Privacy by Design, as a basis for developing the Transparency by Design principles. Finally, we propose a set of nine principles to cover relevant contextual, technical, informational, and stakeholder-sensitive considerations. Transparency by Design is a model that helps organizations design transparent AI systems, by integrating these principles in a step-by-step manner and as an ex-ante value, not as an afterthought. (shrink)
We are living in an algorithmic age where mathematics and computer science are coming together in powerful new ways to influence, shape and guide our behaviour and the governance of our societies. As these algorithmic governance structures proliferate, it is vital that we ensure their effectiveness and legitimacy. That is, we need to ensure that they are an effective means for achieving a legitimate policy goal that are also procedurally fair, open and unbiased. But how can we ensure that algorithmic (...) governance structures are both? This article shares the results of a collective intelligence workshop that addressed exactly this question. The workshop brought together a multidisciplinary group of scholars to consider barriers to legitimate and effective algorithmic governance and the research methods needed to address the nature and impact of specific barriers. An interactive management workshop technique was used to harness the collective intelligence of this multidisciplinary group. This method enabled participants to produce a framework and research agenda for those who are concerned about algorithmic governance. We outline this research agenda below, providing a detailed map of key research themes, questions and methods that our workshop felt ought to be pursued. This builds upon existing work on research agendas for critical algorithm studies in a unique way through the method of collective intelligence. (shrink)
Driven by interests in workforce planning and patient safety, a growing body of literature has begun to identify the reality and the prevalence of missed nursing care, also specified as care left undone, rationed care or unfinished care. Empirical studies and conceptual considerations have focused on structural issues such as staffing, as well as on outcome issues – missed care/unfinished care. Philosophical and ethical aspects of unfinished care are largely unexplored. Thus, while internationally studies highlight instances of covert rationing/missed care/care (...) left undone – suggesting that nurses, in certain contexts, are actively engaged in rationing care – in terms of the nursing and nursing ethics literature, there appears to be a dearth of explicit decision-making frameworks within which to consider rationing of nursing care. In reality, the assumption of policy makers and health service managers is that nurses will continue to provide full care – despite reducing staffing levels and increased patient turnover, dependency and complexity of care. Often, it would appear that rationing/missed care/nursing care left undone is a direct response to overwhelming demands on the nursing resource in specific contexts. A discussion of resource allocation and rationing in nursing therefore seems timely. The aim of this discussion paper is to consider the ethical dimension of issues of resource allocation and rationing as they relate to nursing care and the distribution of the nursing resource. (shrink)
Intensified and extensive data production and data storage are characteristics of contemporary western societies. Health data sharing is increasing with the growth of Information and Communication Technology platforms devoted to the collection of personal health and genomic data. However, the sensitive and personal nature of health data poses ethical challenges when data is disclosed and shared even if for scientific research purposes. With this in mind, the Science and Values Working Group of the COST Action CHIP ME ‘Citizen's Health through (...) public-private Initiatives: Public health, Market and Ethical perspectives’ identified six core values they considered to be essential for the ethical sharing of health data using ICT platforms. We believe that using this ethical framework will promote respectful scientific practices in order to maintain individuals’ trust in research. We use these values to analyse five ICT platforms and explore how emerging data sharing platforms are reconfiguring the data sharing experience from a range of perspectives. We discuss which types of values, rights and responsibilities they entail and enshrine within their philosophy or outlook on what it means to share personal health information. Through this discussion we address issues of the design and the development process of personal health data and patient-oriented infrastructures, as well as new forms of technologically-mediated empowerment. (shrink)
This paper provides an introduction to ethical issues arising in children's research that takes place in school-settings. It addresses three main areas of ethical concern: the informed consent process, confidentiality, and harm and benefit. Informed consent in school settings is characterized by the involvement of multiple stakeholders, including not just researchers, parents and individual children but also school principals, teachers and the children's peer group. The added complexity of the setting has implications for the management of the informed consent process, (...) including the decision at what point and in which manner each stakeholder group needs to be involved in the process. The presence and divergent roles of these multiple stakeholders in the school setting also have implications for addressing issues of confidentiality, especially due to the group setting in which participants take part in the research and role expectations within school settings. Harm and benefit in school-based research are of a non-physical nature; relevant areas of concern relate primarily to the potential for psychological and social harm, realistic presentation of likely benefits from research and the issue of rewards for research participation. (shrink)
This book treats practical and political reasoning as an active engagement with the world and other people; it cannot be understood as exclusively cognitive and this is seen as a virtue rather than a deficiency. Informal, emotional, characterological, aesthetic and interactional aspects of thought can be constituents of reasonable arguing. The work examines key capacities connected with argumentation, in a variety of fields from professional and medical ethics to work organization and the practice of art.
Direct to consumer genetic testing has given rise to much controversy, especially in relation to testing for health diagnostic purposes. This paper will consider whether consumers' use of DTC genetic testing should be understood as predominantly recreational. It will be argued that recreational testing can encompass all information domains, including most kinds of predictive health risk information. In relation to recreational testing the potential identity implications for the consumer become a significant concern, more so than the risks more traditionally associated (...) with genetic testing. It will be concluded that while the DTC genetic testing sector is beset by numerous problems and an increase in consumers' genetic literacy is highly desirable, consumers' engagement with DTC genetic testing may be less problematic than sometimes assumed. (shrink)
In this commentary, the core features of the Irish Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 are outlined. This legislation provides, for the first time in the history of the Irish state, a framework for the provision of lawful abortion in Ireland. The paper will explain the background to the legislation, discuss its main features, and reflect on the likely impact that it will have on the availability of abortion in Ireland.
Wearable robots and exoskeletons are relatively new technologies designed for assisting and augmenting human motor functions. Due to their different possible design applications and their intimate connection to the human body, they come with specific ethical, legal, and social issues, which have not been much explored in the recent ELS literature. This paper draws on expert consultations and a literature review to provide a taxonomy of the most important ethical, legal, and social issues of wearable robots. These issues are categorized (...) in wearable robots and the self, wearable robots and the other, and wearable robots in society. (shrink)
The effective collection and management of personal data of rapidly migrating populations is important for ensuring adequate healthcare and monitoring of a displaced peoples’ health status. With developments in ICT data sharing capabilities, electronic personal health records (ePHRs) are increasingly replacing less transportable paper records. ePHRs offer further advantages of improving accuracy and completeness of information and seem tailored for rapidly displaced and mobile populations. Various emerging initiatives in Europe are seeking to develop migrant‐centric ePHR responses. This paper highlights their (...) importance and benefits, but also identifies a number of significant ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI) and challenges to their design and implementation, regarding (1) the kind of information that should be stored, (2) who should have access to information, and (3) potential misuse of information. These challenges need to be urgently addressed to make possible the beneficial use of ePHRs for vulnerable migrants in Europe. (shrink)