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Self-tests for influenza: an empirical ethics investigation

Rumbold, B; Wenham, C; Wilson, JGS; (2017) Self-tests for influenza: an empirical ethics investigation. BMC Medical Ethics , 18 , Article 33. 10.1186/s12910-017-0192-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: In this article we aim to assess the ethical desirability of self-test diagnostic kits for influenza, focusing in particular on the potential benefits and challenges posed by a new, mobile phone-based tool currently being developed by i-sense, an interdisciplinary research collaboration based (primarily) at University College London and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. / Methods: Our study adopts an empirical ethics approach, supplementing an initial review into the ethical considerations posed by such technologies with qualitative data from three focus groups. / Results: Overall, we map a range of possible considerations both for and against the use of such technologies, synthesizing evidence from a range of secondary literature, as well as identifying several new considerations previously overlooked. / Conclusions: We argue that no single consideration marks these technologies as either entirely permissible or impermissible but rather tools which have the potential to incur certain costs and benefits, and that context is important in determining these. In the latter stages of the article, we explain how developers of such technologies might seek to mitigate such costs and reflect on the possible limitations of the empirical ethics method brought out during the study. / Trial registration: Not applicable.

Type: Article
Title: Self-tests for influenza: an empirical ethics investigation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12910-017-0192-y
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12910-017-0192-y
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Self-tests, Ethics, Empirical ethics, Influenza, Point-of-care tests, Diagnostics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1554923
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