A critique of the regulation of data science in healthcare research in the European Union

Rumbold, J.M.M. ORCID: 0000-0002-3308-711X and Pierscionek, B.K. ORCID: 0000-0002-8661-6353, 2017. A critique of the regulation of data science in healthcare research in the European Union. BMC Medical Ethics, 18, p. 27. ISSN 1472-6939

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Abstract

The EU offers a suitable milieu for the comparison and harmonisation of healthcare across different languages, cultures, and jurisdictions (albeit with a supranational legal framework), which could provide improvements in healthcare standards across the bloc. There are specific ethico-legal issues with the use of data in healthcare research that mandate a different approach from other forms of research. The use of healthcare data over a long period of time is similar to the use of tissue in biobanks. There is a low risk to subjects but it is impossible to gain specific informed consent given the future possibilities for research. Large amounts of data on a subject present a finite risk of re-identification. Consequently, there is a balancing act between this risk and retaining sufficient utility of the data. Anonymising methods need to take into account the circumstances of data sharing to enable an appropriate balance in all cases. There are ethical and policy advantages to exceeding the legal requirements and thereby securing the social licence for research. This process would require the examination and comparison of data protection laws across the trading bloc to produce an ethico-legal framework compatible with the requirements of all member states. Seven EU jurisdictions are given consideration in this critique.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: BMC Medical Ethics
Creators: Rumbold, J.M.M. and Pierscionek, B.K.
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 8 April 2017
Volume: 18
ISSN: 1472-6939
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1186/s12910-017-0184-yDOI
184Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 21 Apr 2017 12:45
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2017 08:56
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30528

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