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Cybersecurity in health – disentangling value tensions


Loi, Michele; Christen, Markus; Kleine, Nadine; Weber, Karsten (2019). Cybersecurity in health – disentangling value tensions. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 17(2):229-245.

Abstract

Purpose

Cybersecurity in healthcare has become an urgent matter in recent years due to various malicious attacks on hospitals and other parts of the healthcare infrastructure. The purpose of this paper is to provide an outline of how core values of the health systems, such as the principles of biomedical ethics, are in a supportive or conflicting relation to cybersecurity.
Design/methodology/approach

This paper claims that it is possible to map the desiderata relevant to cybersecurity onto the four principles of medical ethics, i.e. beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice, and explore value conflicts in that way.
Findings

With respect to the question of how these principles should be balanced, there are reasons to think that the priority of autonomy relative to beneficence and non-maleficence in contemporary medical ethics could be extended to value conflicts in health-related cybersecurity.
Research limitations/implications

However, the tension between autonomy and justice, which relates to the desideratum of usability of information and communication technology systems, cannot be ignored even if one assumes that respect for autonomy should take priority over other moral concerns.
Originality/value

In terms of value conflicts, most discussions in healthcare deal with the conflict of balancing efficiency and privacy given the sensible nature of health information. In this paper, the authors provide a broader and more detailed outline.

Abstract

Purpose

Cybersecurity in healthcare has become an urgent matter in recent years due to various malicious attacks on hospitals and other parts of the healthcare infrastructure. The purpose of this paper is to provide an outline of how core values of the health systems, such as the principles of biomedical ethics, are in a supportive or conflicting relation to cybersecurity.
Design/methodology/approach

This paper claims that it is possible to map the desiderata relevant to cybersecurity onto the four principles of medical ethics, i.e. beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice, and explore value conflicts in that way.
Findings

With respect to the question of how these principles should be balanced, there are reasons to think that the priority of autonomy relative to beneficence and non-maleficence in contemporary medical ethics could be extended to value conflicts in health-related cybersecurity.
Research limitations/implications

However, the tension between autonomy and justice, which relates to the desideratum of usability of information and communication technology systems, cannot be ignored even if one assumes that respect for autonomy should take priority over other moral concerns.
Originality/value

In terms of value conflicts, most discussions in healthcare deal with the conflict of balancing efficiency and privacy given the sensible nature of health information. In this paper, the authors provide a broader and more detailed outline.

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1 citation in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
08 Research Priority Programs > Digital Society Initiative
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Communication
Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Physical Sciences > Computer Networks and Communications
Language:English
Date:13 May 2019
Deposited On:15 Jan 2020 11:38
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 12:36
Publisher:Emerald Publishing
ISSN:1477-996X
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1108/jices-12-2018-0095

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