Monday, July 16, 2007

Medical Ethics 2.0?

A very interesting post is over at The Personal Genome focusing on some of the ethical implications of the engagement of Web 2.0 with medicine.

The post is focused on one example namely the possibility of a genealogy website allowing users to add medical information to the genealogical data. The use of this in medical terms is obvious imagine someone being able to say to their doctor "I think aunt betsy had cancer I can't remember what type I tell you what go look here at our family tree that will tell you"
Likewise this could present a goldmine of medical information for researchers and data miners.

But the public (and even shared private) availability of such information raises significant ethical issues both about consent, and whose information this is. In particular should you be able to update the records of your deceased relatives and of course what the implications this might have for insurance purposes.

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