The application of ethics to information technology

Fundamental problems[ edit ] It is often held that technology itself is incapable of possessing moral or ethical qualities, since "technology" is merely tool making. But many now believe that each piece of technology is endowed with and radiating ethical commitments all the time, given to it by those that made it, and those that decided how it must be made and used. The ethical questions that are exacerbated by the ways in which technology extends or curtails the power of individuals—how standard ethical questions are changed by the new powers.

The application of ethics to information technology

Aikins ,2 and F. This paper explores 1 the national legislation on Electronic Health Information Technology EHIT2 the ethics of information technology and public health and 3 the effect on the Physician-patient relationship.

Method This study consisted of systematic literature and internet review of the legislation, information technology, the national health insurance program, and the physician-patient relationship.


Conclusion The study highlights the lack of protection for physician-patient relationship as medical practice transitions from the conventional to the modern, information technology driven domain.

Despite, there are already ethical complications on the physician-patient relationship that have emerged particularly on the issues of autonomy, best interest of the patient and informed Consent.

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Such pieces of personal information are not used only for health research and policy, but also for security and criminal surveillance, investigation and control. The various uses of such information implicate many pertinent constitutional concerns. Reliance on EHIT seems poised to grow in the years to come due to the myriad of advantages derived from the capture, storage, retrieval and analysis of large volumes of protected health data, and from multiple sources, which is spread over a long period of time.

It also exposes the actions of both to the unwarranted oversight of others through the Internet and the worldwide web both nationally and internationally. All such information is available for re-interpretation and analyses by a variety of agents other than the primary physician or even insurer.

This includes abuse of privacy and confidentiality in the physician-patient relationship as well as autonomy and due process because of access to private EHRs by anonymous researchers, insurance companies, various supervisory agencies and departments.

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It is feared that uncontrolled access to EHRs may encourage some insurers to deny coverage to certain classes of people.

Some employers may deny employment due to the health antecedents of the potential staff. In Ghana, however, it appears that apart from a few clauses contained in the Electronic Communication Act, Act Section 4 2limiting access to electronic personal information of the customers of the communications industry, there does not seem to be a dedicated and broad based national legislation on the primary and secondary uses of electronic personal information of the individual.

Though the reference to the ECA is analogous to the issue at hand, it provides a good example of the gap in the legal framework for the protection of privacy in general, particularly when it comes to EHRs.

The application of ethics to information technology

This possibility suggests the need for this kind of research to be carried out, in order to provide some direction on the ways to manage Electronic Health Information Technology for the benefit of all stakeholders. The study aimed to assess the effect of information technology on the physician-patient relationship, and how to accommodate the goal of evidenced-based medicine and clinical epidemiology in Ghana.

It also looked at how the national legislation could be improved to ensure better ethical standards for the physician-patient relationship.

Method Three main methodological approaches were used for data collection on the effect of information technology on the national health insurance program and the physician-patient relationship.

But none addressed the ethical concerns in Ghana. However, there were many Ghanaian authored articles on the narrow issue of informed consent and clinical trials though in collaboration with other foreign nationals. Further search in the Ghana Medical Journal abstracts on physician-patient relationship gave 19, pieces but none of them discussed the ethical challenges presented by the electronic health information technology.

We admit that the issue of ethics and electronic health information is a recent development in the healthcare delivery system in many nations and therefore not surprising if research in the nation has not focused on it as yet.

From these the study focused on the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics publications for the first half of and then the search was broadened to publications in prior years by other authors and journals.

This desktop review covered pertinent national laws that have primary effects on the physician-patient relationship obtained from the government printers, the Law School and libraries in Accra. Other published articles, grey literature and abstract on ethics and medical information were also reviewed.

Interviews and discussions were also held with randomly selected experts, national departments and agencies representatives, namely fourteen medical doctors, all of whom were with the Ghana Health Services, Ministry of Health and four of whom were directly responsible for district hospitals.

We also interviewed personalities from the private insurance industry who manage mutual health insurance schemes under the NHIS as well as key staff of NHIA. On site visit with interview was also conducted at the Winneba District Hospital, in the Central Region of Ghana in the second quarter of Winneba was selected randomly out of the hospitals under the supervision of the Ghana Health Service as a case study to find the extent of the uses of electronic health technology and record keeping at the District level.

This was also conducted at the School of Public Health, University of Ghana to reconfirm or refute the result of the interviews as synthesized, where queries were raised. Analysis was based on systematic review and synthesis of the literature according to the objective of the study and a comparative analysis was also carried out on the Ghanaian situation and that of other countries.

Result The effect of modern medicine on the physicianpatient relationship The study found that modern medical practice offers many opportunities for encroachment on the physicianpatient relationship.

Current practice of medicine has many players with various specialties and personnel, but integrated in a healthcare delivery program such as the National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS.

Such specialties include but not limited to doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, medical engineers, social workers and counsellors, as well as allied health professionals. These devices automatically capture and store patient data as a matter of routine to be made available for future use and to be reviewed by peer.As much as information technology is important to our lives, it is facing some serious ethical challenges and it is up to the IT experts and users of information technology to be ready for these challenges.


Alexander Kouzmin. University of Western Sydney-Nepean.

The Many Ethical Implications of Emerging Technologies - Scientific American

Phillip Reeves Knyght. University of Canberra, Australia. as it relates to humans impacted by information and information systems.

The application of ethics to information technology

The Menlo Report [17] outlines such a framework and is assistive in managing ethics application challenges arising from. On Jan.

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1, , the Catholic Diocese of Austin instated policies on Ethics and Integrity in Ministry (EIM). EIM compliance is required of all clergy, religious, seminarians, diocesan employees, parish and Catholic school employees, and adult lay persons who volunteer in ministry with minors or vulnerable adults, or in any ministry, program or organization .

THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE ETHICS OF PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGEMENT IN THE THIRD MILLENNIUM. Nada Korac-Kakabadse. Cranfield School of Management. Alexander Kouzmin. University of Western Sydney-Nepean.

Phillip Reeves Knyght. University of Canberra, Australia. Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP (Security) is a technology consultant, trainer and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and .

About Ethics in Information Technology | Bizfluent