The Ethics of Electronic Patient Records

By Eike-Henner W. Kluge | Go to book overview

Acknowledgements

This study would not have been possible but for the years of encouragement by my friend and colleague, Jochen Moehr. Well over a decade ago, he introduced me to medical informatics, and thereby started my ever- deepening engagement with the discipline. I also owe thanks to Ab Bakker, Barry Barber and the other members of Working Group 4 (Security and Confidentiality) of the International Medical Informatics Association. Without their kind willingness to listen to my ideas and to provide a forum for discussion, the study would have had many more rough edges—and would have taken much longer. Jan van Bemmel, as editor of Methods of Information in Medicine, made it possible for me to present what initially were perceived as outrageous claims about the ontology and ethical status of electronic patient records, and deserves special thanks for his courage to publish what was then considered off the beaten track. Special thanks are also due Steve Kay, whose invitation to present a master class in the ethics of electronic patient records in Manchester in 1998 at the conference marking the 50th anniversary of the birth of the computer, provided an opportunity to test out some of my ideas and arguments before the most stimulating (and critical) audience imaginable. My colleague Colin Bennett also deserves thanks for confirming my suspicion that a full- length study of the ethics of electronic patient records would be an appropriate and timely subject. I hope that they are not too disappointed in the outcome.

____________________
Victoria, Summer 2000

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