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New Zealand Bioethics Conference: Bioethics and Health Law in the Information Age

27–28 January 2017

Dunedin, New Zealand

The information age refers to the current expansion of collection and storage of actually and potentially health related data to the technologies that provide the means to manipulate, aggregate, combine, and utilise this data. With this come possibilities for future action which are only now beginning to be explored.

This is an area with which bioethics and law needs to keep up; this conference aims to explore current ethical and legal issues that require reflection.

Hosted by the University of Otago Bioethics Centre

Abstract submissions

Call for abstracts (Microsoft Word 100KB)
Abstract submission guidelines (PDF 20 KB)
Abstract template (Microsoft Word 20 KB)

Register securely online

Big data

This refers to the huge collections of data about individuals which have been and are being amassed and to the sorts of health-related uses to which they may be put. The data is not only health data (including records of illness, prescribed medicines, genetic data), but also numerous other kinds of data (such as criminal records, educational records, employment data).

The opportunity exists to do research into health trends and associations between health and other aspects of life on a massive scale, and also to produce very fine-grained tools for predicting individuals' future health, or their response to medications.

There is a tremendous interest in this, but issues around data protection and the possible impacts on privacy and on freedom need careful consideration.

Artificial intelligence

Software is being developed that can trawl through immense amounts of data, phishing for unexpected associations within data to which it has access.

It is important to be aware of the sorts of associations this might throw up, and to be ready to apply a nuanced and sensitive interpretation of this data.

How is this to be managed? Whose responsibility is it?

Trust and privacy

Increasingly information is collected and accessed on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. Further, health professionals now have the capacity to work with patients remotely and communicate publicly using social media.

These facts raise questions surrounding how mobile devices, social media, and remote communication can be sensitively incorporated into clinical practice.

Dual-use technologies

A sobering thought is that all new technologies can produce great good and also great evil—information technology is no different.

A clear-eyed perspective on what evils may result, either unintentionally or intentionally, from the use of information needs to be developed.

The confirmed conference dates are Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January, 2017. Note the start and finish times each day are not yet confirmed.

Register securely online

Date Friday, 27 January 2017 - Saturday, 28 January 2017
Time 9:00am - 5:00pm
Audience Public,All University
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Conference
DepartmentBioethics Centre
LocationThe Hunter Centre, Dunedin, New Zealand
CostGeneral registration: $450
Student registration: $240
Bioethics Centre staff and students: $100

Registration will be available at through 1 November 2016
Contact NameBioethics Centre, 71 Frederick Street, Dunedin, New Zealand

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