The change in demography, multiple chronic conditions, increasing infectious disease threats, and small healthcare budgets put healthcare systems under serious challenge. In addition, there is an increasing need to generate more knowledge to improve patient treatments. Reuse of patient health data is promoted as a means to generate evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of different treatments. Patient data are also reused for quality assurance, public health and commercial applications.
The wide deployment of electronic health records has created a potential for timely access to enormous amount of data to answer a given research question. However, reuse of patient data has ethical and legal concerns. These…show more content… It could be argued that it is even morally obligatory that it is undertaken because not performing the research would minimize utility.
For research using de-identified data to be ethical, not only must the consequences of the research be considered, but also risks to patients whose de-identified data are used, and whether the patients will want to contribute their data must also be thought about. However, utilitarianism does not address these concerns. However, utilitarianism considers the use of de-identified data permissible, if the outcomes bring better overall utility than the risk of harms and violation of rights to perform research.
Duty-based deontological theory
Deontological ethics is concerned with what people do, not with the consequences of their actions. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is credited for laying the foundations of deontology. Under this form of ethics, good consequences do not necessarily justify an action. Kant´s duty-based ethics was based on what he called the ´categorical imperative´ .
The first formulation of categorical imperative states that “always act in such a way that you can also will that the maxim of your action should become a universal law” . This means one should be willing for the ethical rule governing his/her action to be applied equally to everyone.
There is a strong argument that clinicians have a duty to participate in research and improve the knowledge that underpins good medical care . The argument is based