Philosophy Colloquium Series
MEETING TIME: 3:00PM
MEETING LOCATION: BLL-110 MAK
DATE: Friday, December 2, 2022
Jeffrey Byrnes (GVSU Philosophy)
Transparency and Authority Concerns for the Use of Algorithms in Ethical Decision-Making in Healthcare
Talk Description: In response to recent proposals to use machine learning to automate ethics consultations in health care, we raise two main problems for the prospect of having medical professionals rely on algorithms to provide ethical guidance in clinical matters. The first cause for concern is that, since these algorithms would effectively function like black boxes, this approach seems to preclude the kind of transparency that would allow medical staff to explain and justify treatment decisions to patients, fellow practitioners, and those tasked with providing oversight. The other main problem is that the kind of authority that would need to be given to the guidance issuing from these programs in order to do the work set out for them would mean that medical staff will not be empowered to set aside this guidance or provide any meaningful check against it in those cases when its recommendations are morally problematic.