Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Initiative: Bioinfoethics for Life, Health, Death, and Dying: Question of the Day

?Question of the Day?
Do you have a living will or advanced directive?  Does your doctor, family, hospital, and others have copies?  When did you last update your documents? 
Please comment.

New Initiative: Bioinfoethics for Life

New Initiative:  Bioinfoethics for Life

Hot Issues
?In vitro fertilization? 
?Life extension?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

If biology is an information science, then information ethics needs to expand.

If biology is an information science, then information ethics needs to expand.  What does this mean?  For me, it means building new courses from K-grad school and into public and popular discourses as well as into the preparation of professionals in medicine, healthcare, geriatric studies, and so many other fields.  As patients and citizens, we are in charge of our health and lives.  With an aging population and so many critical decisions to be made by individuals and families, a new initiative in information ethics is needed to describe the issues, the methods, and to support the education and outreach needed to make these issues understandable and as manageable as possible.  From the ownership of a baby's DNA to ethical wills and advanced directives, the human lifecycle and the information lifecycle are both important.  Electronic medical records and patient's right to privacy both have economic implications. 
Key categories for information ethics research:
  • Access
  • Ownership
  • Privacy
  • Security, and
  • Community map to the ethics of  life, healthcare, and issues surrounding the end-of-life and death.  
  • Who has access to our information, DNA, risk factors, prior conditions?
  • Who has access to information kept by healthcare institutions?
  • Can insurance companies deny treatment?  How?
  • Do we have ownership rights or moral rights to our own information?
  • Do parents own their children's information?
  • Is privacy obsolete?
  • What is the role of the government in the access and ownership of medical records?
  • What consumer access should patients have to medical research?
  • Is there a right to healthcare?  Universal access?
  • Much more

New Initiative: Teaching Information Ethics for Life, Health, and Death

New Initiative:  Teaching Information Ethics for Life, Health, and Death--
The Overview

One of the fastest growing areas of practical and professional ethics centers around healthcare and medical issues.  In the last twenty years, as new information and communications technologies have penetrated the worlds of medical and scientific research and practice, information as a commodity and as a change-maker has brought new and complex ethics and policy questions to professionals, to individuals, and to the public.

New research centers, degree programs, and course offerings evidence the convergence of issues and methods from computer and information ethics with medical, healthcare, and bioethics.  If as some claim, biology is now an information science, then we need not be surprised at the rapid development of a new field that might be called bioinfoethics.  I used that time some time ago and still find it useful.  However, the term is not as important as is the concept.  Kenneth Goodman, for example, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  To be Continued.