Robot carers, ethics, and older people

This paper offers an ethical framework for the development of robots as home companions that are intended to address the isolation and reduced physical functioning of frail older people with capacity, especially those living alone in a non-institutional setting. Our ethical framework gives autonomy priority in a list of purposes served by assistive technology in…

E-care as craftsmanship: Virtuous work, skilled engagement, and information technology in health care

Contemporary health care relies on electronic devices. These technologies are not ethically neutral but change the practice of care. In light of Sennett’s work and that of other thinkers (Dewey, Dreyfus, Borgmann) one worry is that “e-care”—care by means of new information and communication technologies—does not promote skillful and careful engagement with patients and hence…

Ethical Assessment in the Design of Ambient Assisted Living

This paper tackles ethical issues that are relevant when designing new technological service systems for assisted living. In this paper we present our preliminary ethical guidelines that are built on six ethical principles that are selected based on the ethical assessment of MINAmI scenarios. The aim of ethical assessment is to create concrete and clear…

Granny and the robots: Ethical issues in robot care for the elderly

The growing proportion of elderly people in society, together with recent advances in robotics, makes the use of robots in elder care increasingly likely. We outline developments in the areas of robot applications for assisting the elderly and their caretakers, for monitoring their health and safety, and for providing them with companionship. Despite the possible…

Robots and human dignity: A consideration of the effects of robot care on the dignity of older people

This paper explores the relationship between dignity and robot care for older people. It highlights the disquiet that is often expressed about failures to maintain the dignity of vulnerable older people, but points out some of the contradictory uses of the word ‘dignity’. Certain authors have resolved these contradictions by identifying different senses of dignity;…