CDBIO’s Report on the “Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Doctor-Patient Relationship”
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher,
Global Human Rights Defence.
On the 7th of June 2022, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Human Rights in the fields of Biomedicine and Health (CDBIO) issued a Report on the “impact of artificial intelligence on the doctor-patient relationship”. The impact of such a relationship is framed by the human rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine of 1997 (the Oviedo Convention). The CDBIO’s Report is part of the Council of Europe’s Strategic Action Plan on Human Rights and Technologies on Biomedicine (2020-2025).
The Report analyses that the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the doctor-patient relationship can have a potential impact on human rights. In particular, this impact can be categorized in six separate themes which are the followingß:
“(1) Inequality in access to high quality healthcare; (2) Transparency to health professionals and patients; (3) Risk of social bias in AI systems; (4) Dilution of the patient’s account of well-being; (5) Risk of automation bias, de-skilling, and displaced liability; and (6) Impact on the right to privacy”.
The CDBIO concludes that, depending on how AI systems and emerging technologies are deployed and implemented, they may pose a smaller or greater risk on the respect for human rights. The Report recommends that in order to avoid AI having an impact on human rights, the Council of Europe should “introduce binding recommendations and requirements for signatories concerning how AI is deployed and governed”. The CDBIO’s Report states that a reconfiguration of the traditional doctor-patient relationship in which artificial intelligence systems diagnose and treat the patient is still far away. Nonetheless, the CDBIO recommends that “the ideal model of clinical care and AI deployment in healthcare is one that utilises the best aspects of human clinical expertise and AI diagnostics”.
Sources and further reading:
Council of Europe. (2022, June 7). New report on the impact of artificial intelligence on the doctor-patient relationship. Newsroom – Council of Europe. Retrieved on June 8, 2022, from https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/new-report-on-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-the-doctor-patient-relationship
Steering Committee for Human Rights in the fields of Biomedicine and Health. (2022, June 7). The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Doctor-Patient Relationship. https://rm.coe.int/inf-2022-5-report-impact-of-ai-on-doctor-patient-relations-e/1680a68859