Precision health approaches: ethical considerations for health data processing

Geneviève, Lester Darryl. Precision health approaches: ethical considerations for health data processing. 2021, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Medicine.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/94511/

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This thesis provides insights and recommendations on some of the most crucial elements necessary for an effective, legally and ethically sound implementation of precision health approaches in the Swiss context (and beyond), specifically for precision medicine and precision public health. In this regard, this thesis recognizes the centrality of data in these two abovementioned domains, and the ethical and scientific imperative of ensuring the widespread and responsible sharing of high quality health data between the numerous stakeholders involved in healthcare, public health and associated research domains. It also recognizes the need to protect not only the interests of data subjects but also those of data processors. Indeed, it is only through a comprehensive assessment of the needs and expectations of each and every one regarding data sharing activities that sustainable solutions to known ethical and scientific conundrums can be devised and implemented. In addition, the included chapters in this thesis emphasize recommending solutions that could be convincingly applied to real world problems, with the ultimate objective of having a concrete impact on clinical and public health practice and policies, including research activities. Indeed, the strengths of this thesis reside in a careful and in-depth interdisciplinary assessment of the different issues at stake in precision health approaches, with the elaboration of the least disruptive solutions (as far as possible) and recommendations for an easy evaluation and subsequent adoption by relevant stakeholders active in these two domains.
This thesis has three main objectives, namely (i) to investigate and identify factors influencing the processing of health data in the Swiss context and suggest some potential solutions and recommendations. A better understanding of these factors is paramount for an effective implementation of precision health approaches given their strong dependence on high quality and easily accessible health datasets; (ii) to identify and explore the ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI) of innovative participatory disease surveillance systems – also falling under precision health approaches – and how research ethics are coping within this field. In addition, this thesis aims to strengthen the ethical approaches currently used to cater for these ELSIs by providing a robust ethical framework; and lastly, (iii) to investigate how precision health approaches might not be able to achieve their social justice and health equity goals, if the impact of structural racism on these initiatives is not given due consideration. After a careful assessment, this thesis provides recommendations and potential actions that could help these precision health approaches adhere to their social justice and health equity goals.
This thesis has investigated these three main objectives using both empirical and theoretical research methods. The empirical branch consists of systematic and scoping reviews, both adhering to the PRISMA guidelines, and two interview-based studies carried out with Swiss expert stakeholders. The theoretical branch consists of three chapters, each addressing important aspects concerning precision health approaches.
Advisors:Elger, Bernice Simone
Committee Members:Wangmo, Tenzin and Perneger, Thomas and Borisch, Bettina
Faculties and Departments:08 Cross-disciplinary Subjects > Ethik > Institut für Bio- und Medizinethik > Bio- und Medizinethik (Elger)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Ethik in der Medizin > Bio- und Medizinethik (Elger)
UniBasel Contributors:Elger, Bernice Simone and Wangmo, Tenzin and Perneger, Thomas
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:15122
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:ix, 303
Identification Number:
  • urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-bau-diss151221
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:18 Oct 2023 04:30
Deposited On:17 Oct 2023 10:00

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