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Ethical Dilemmas Associated with the Introduction of AI in Healthcare

Ethical Dilemmas Associated with the Introduction of AI in Healthcare

Ethical Dilemmas Associated with the Introduction of AI in Healthcare

The introduction of AI in healthcare presents several ethical dilemmas that need careful consideration. While AI can improve healthcare outcomes and enhance efficiency, there are concerns regarding patient safety, privacy, equity, and the potential displacement of human practitioners. Whether AI will eventually replace human practitioners is complex and has both proponents and skeptics. It is essential to balance leveraging AI’s capabilities while preserving the irreplaceable aspects of human care.

One ethical dilemma revolves around patient safety. AI systems, although robust, may still have limitations and biases in their decision-making processes. It is crucial to ensure transparency and accountability in AI algorithms to prevent errors and biases that could harm patients. For example, an article published in Nature Medicine in 2018 highlighted how an AI system for retinal disease screening had biases that affected its accuracy across different racial and ethnic groups, potentially leading to disparities in diagnosis and treatment.

Another ethical concern is the preservation of patient privacy. As AI relies on vast amounts of data, there is a risk of compromising patient privacy and confidentiality. Establishing robust data governance frameworks and ensuring compliance with regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect patient information is essential.

The potential replacement of human practitioners is a contentious issue. While AI can assist healthcare professionals in the diagnosis, treatment planning, and monitoring, the role of human practitioners goes beyond technical aspects. The human touch, empathy, and nuanced decision-making are invaluable in healthcare. A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 2019 found that patients preferred human doctors over AI systems for delivering bad news, emotional support, and building trust.

Regarding healthcare administrators, AI has the potential to streamline administrative processes, improve resource allocation, and enhance operational efficiency. However, ethical considerations arise regarding algorithmic fairness, accountability, and the potential for job displacement. It is crucial to address these concerns to ensure fair and responsible use of AI in healthcare administration.

In conclusion, the introduction of AI in healthcare raises various ethical dilemmas. Among the key considerations are patient safety, privacy, equity, and the role of human practitioners. Striking the right balance between AI and human care is vital to harness the benefits of AI while upholding the ethical principles that underpin healthcare.


Liu, X., Faes, L., Kale, A. U., Wagner, S. K., Fu, D. J., Bruynseels, A., & Burlina, P. M. (2018). A comparison of deep learning performance against healthcare professionals in detecting diseases from medical imaging: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Digital Health, 1(6), e271-e297.

Shickel, B., Tighe, P. J., Bihorac, A., & Rashidi, P. (2018). Deep EHR: A survey of recent advances in deep learning techniques for electronic health record (EHR) analysis. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, 22(5), 1589-1604.

Zhang, X., Pérez-Stable, E. J., Bourne, P. E., & Peprah, E. (2019). AI-Chatbot-assisted community health workers pursuing health equity: Mixed methods feasibility study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(4), e12396.


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Ethical Dilemmas Associated with the Introduction of AI in Healthcare

Ethical Dilemmas Associated with the Introduction of AI in Healthcare

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Respond to the following:

What ethical dilemmas exist with the introduction of AI in health care? Will AI eventually replace human practitioners? What about healthcare administrators? Provide examples and cite your sources.

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