Wednesday, 10. April 2024

Pioneering Book Explores the Ethics of Medical AI: Transforming Practices, Relationships, and Environments

With his latest book "Ethics of Medical AI", Prof Dr Giovanni Rubeis is breaking new ground. This pioneering work is the first comprehensive examination of the ethical implications of AI technologies in the field of medicine.

In 257 pages, Prof Rubeis provides a compelling overview of the transformative impact of AI on medical practices, relationships and environments. This book offers timely and valuable insights for healthcare professionals, policy makers, and researchers in bioethics, medicine, health sciences, nursing, humanities, and social sciences, but can also serve as a primary textbook for graduate and undergraduate university courses.

Giovanni Rubeis, Head of Division of Biomedical and Public Health Ethics at Karl Landsteiner University of Health Science (KL Krems), examines the ethical implications of the paradigm shift brought about by AI as medicine undergoes a profound transformation through technological advances. The basic thesis of the book is that the use of AI is changing practices, relationships and environments in the healthcare sector. Giovanni Rubeis devotes a detailed examination to each of these areas.

He spans the spectrum from a careful examination of the definitions of artificial intelligence and the development of medical artificial intelligence (MAI) to the ethical foundations of medical and data ethics, and the opportunities and challenges of integrating MAI into medical practice. The book offers readers a nuanced perspective informed by critical theory and data studies. As such, Giovanni Rubeis' approach differs from conventional medical ethics analysis in that it takes into account the social context of the data subjects and the power asymmetries in a digitalised environment. Equipped with this conceptual framework, he navigates through the ethical complexities of incorporating MAI into medical practice.

Giovanni Rubeis also discusses key challenges for clinical and nursing practice. These include the so-called black box character of AI applications, the results of which are often incomprehensible. The resulting problems for patient education are discussed in the book, as are the corresponding solution strategies. Giovanni Rubeis also addresses the question whether doctors can be replaced by AI systems. He makes it clear that certain tasks can be delegated to AI systems, but that interpersonal contact remains indispensable for a successful therapeutic relationship. Giovanni Rubeis also examines other aspects of transformation through AI. From data security and privacy protection to trust and transparency, bias and algorithmic fairness, the book (published by Springer Nature) navigates through a variety of complex ethical challenges associated with the integration of this technology into healthcare.

Giovanni Rubeis concludes his paper by forecasting the future development of AI and presenting seven valuable lessons based on his ethical analysis. These insights serve as a compass for navigating the turbulent waters of AI integration in medicine and offer invaluable insights for healthcare professionals, policy makers and researchers alike.

Link to the book:

About the Author:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Giovanni Rubeis is full professor of Biomedical and Public Health Ethics at the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences in Krems, Austria. As bioethicist and philosopher, the main focus of his research is the digital transformation of healthcare and its ethical implications. Prof. Rubeis is co-founder and coordinator of the working group “Digitalization and Health” within the German Academy of Ethics in Medicine.


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Giovanni Rubeis

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Giovanni Rubeis

Head of
Division of Biomedical and Public Health Ethics