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Aspects of Law and Ethics Related to Technology

ICT in Medicine and Health care: Assessing Social, Ethical and Legal Issues

October 2006

Two members of the ALERT research group, Dr Carlisle George and Dr Penny Duquenoy (IFIP WG9.2 Chair & BCS Ethics Forum Manager) took part as panellists in a panel session dedicated to the discussion on the social, ethical and legal issues of information and communication technologies (ICT) in medicine and healthcare, at the HCC7 conference on Human Choice and Computers, Maribor, Slovenia (21-23, Sept, 2006). The session was chaired by Dr Carlisle George.

The panel members introduced vari ous aspects of ICT use in healthcare and medicine, including:

  • Ethics of e-medicine - Prof. Goran Collste, Linköping University Sweden;
  • Technology and the self-help patient - Dr Penny Duquenoy, Middlesex University;
  • Legal concerns of ICT in Healthcare - Dr Carlisle George, Middlesex University;
  • IT in elderly care - Dr K ari n Hedström of Örebro University, Sweden;
  • Anthropomorphism - humanisation, of the artefacts of ICT used in medicine - Kai Kimppa, University of Turku, Finland ); and
  • Automatic Identification Technology in Medical and Social Care - Dr. Emilio Mordini, Centre for Science, Society & Citizenship, Italy .

Following the presentations by the panel, the audience were invited to pose questions and join the panel in furthering the discussions concerning human choice when ICT is used in healthcare and medicine. Discussions focussed on: identifying human choice; the effect of human choice on practice; how to promote human centred systems; the politics of the information society; and relationships between technical & social aspects of ICT in medicine/healthcare.

This conference was dedicated to the memory of Rob Kling as founding father of the Social Informatics school of thought. The success of Rob's enterprise was demonstrated by the attendance of more than 130 participants from around the world. The importance of his work and this conference in pursuing the social aspects of ICT is recognised by IFIP. The conference were pleased to welcome former IFIP President Heinz Zemanek (Vienna, Austria) who in the early days of IFIP fought for a Technical Committee on 'non-technical aspects', and current IFIP President Prof. Klaus Brunnstein - a previous Chair and current member of TC9 (Technical Committee 9: Relationship between Computers and Society).

Dr Carlisle George, Prof. Goran Collste, Dr Penny Duquenoy

October 2006