Why should we pay attention to ethical arguments of the actors working with big data technologies?
Healthcare professionals and data scientists working with big data technology continuously make ethical decisions but use ethics differently. They need to be aware of these differences.
By interviewing 160 stakeholders from different fields in 8 European countries the Erasmus University studied the ethical arguments. In this study, three different ways have been identified in which healthcare professionals and data scientists use ethical arguments. Some understand ethics as a balancing act. They compare different ethical principles to find the right balance. Others understand ethics as identifying risks that need to be mitigated – preferably by technical solutions. A third group understands ethics as an ongoing and joint deliberation.
A focus on how ethical arguments are developed by different actors in big data innovations offers valuable insights about how ethical questions are navigated in real medical practice, how considerations are made and justified on the ground, and how norms and values are negotiated in real life.
In a new video launched as part of the lessons learned in the BigMedilytics project, Dr. Rik Wehrens, assistant professor at the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, explains why we need to pay attention to the ethical arguments of various actors working with big data technologies in practice.
Three lessons can be learned from the BigMedilytics project:
- Healthcare professionals and data scientists working with big data technology continuously make ethical decisions as they negotiate norms and values.
- Healthcare professionals and data scientists are able to translate abstract ethical principles into evert day consideration about norms and values.
- Ethical decisions about big data in practice can be enriched by better taking into account how healthcare professionals and data scientists construct ethical arguments.