- Oct 5 Co-sponsored Event - Western Bombs, Eastern Societies: The Destruction of Nations and Responsibility to Protect
- Oct 11 Co-Sponsored Event: Beating Injustice: Police Killings, Mass Incarceration, and Making Real Change Happen Right Now
- Oct 28 Idioms of Ethical Life: A Conference in Honor of the Work of Dr. Dennis J. Schmidt
Dec 16, 2004
from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
|Where||102 Weaver Building|
|Contact Name||Rob Peeler|
|Add event to calendar||
SMTC Coffee Hour:
December 16, 2004; 2:00 p.m.
102 Weaver Building
Moderator: Eileen Trauth, Professor of Information Sciences and Technology
Information technology has given us enormous opportunities to capture, analyze and transmit information. In the field of health care these opportunities offer us both great promise and great challenges. In particular, IT raises important ethical issues, not just about the potential for such information gathering and analysis, but also in terms of the way the information is transmitted, and how it is used. The panelists will discuss the issue of bio/health informatics from the following perspectives:
Michael Green, Associate Professor of Humanities, Penn State University College of Medicine, will discuss how interactive, computer-based decision aids can help people make informed medical decisions. He will discuss his ongoing research on genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility and a new project that uses computers to help people with end-of-life decisions.
Lynette Kvasny, Assistant Professor of Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State University, will use the notion of "digital inequality" to frame a discussion about the social impacts of online health resources. Examining differences in the ways in which various social groups are represented in online health resources raises sobering questions about the role of information technologies in reproducing the biases, stereotypes, and clinical uncertainties that contribute to health disparities along the lines of gender, class, race, and ethnicity.
Roxanne Parrott, Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State University, will consider that the motivations and abilities associated with health information searches are both empowering and limiting, as source layering associated with content may inhibit awareness of actual motives for making information available online. Moreover, gaps associated with accessibility and health literacy broaden these limitations.
Anthony Robinson, Graduate Student, Geography, Penn State University, will add that a particular challenge is to create an effective transition from systems used by a few researchers to systems used by a wider community of non-technical experts. This becomes an issue of ethics when research money nearly always focuses on innovation in functionality in place of good design. Health information systems fail to serve anyone if they are designed in a vacuum.