A healthy debate: Exploring the views of medical doctors on the ethics of artificial intelligence

Andreia Martinho*, Maarten Kroesen, Caspar Chorus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is moving towards the health space. It is generally acknowledged that, while there is great promise in the implementation of AI technologies in healthcare, it also raises important ethical issues. In this study we surveyed medical doctors based in The Netherlands, Portugal, and the U.S. from a diverse mix of medical specializations about the ethics surrounding Health AI. Four main perspectives have emerged from the data representing different views about this matter. The first perspective (AI is a helpful tool: Let physicians do what they were trained for) highlights the efficiency associated with automation, which will allow doctors to have the time to focus on expanding their medical knowledge and skills. The second perspective (Rules & Regulations are crucial: Private companies only think about money) shows strong distrust in private tech companies and emphasizes the need for regulatory oversight. The third perspective (Ethics is enough: Private companies can be trusted) puts more trust in private tech companies and maintains that ethics is sufficient to ground these corporations. And finally the fourth perspective (Explainable AI tools: Learning is necessary and inevitable) emphasizes the importance of explainability of AI tools in order to ensure that doctors are engaged in the technological progress. Each perspective provides valuable and often contrasting insights about ethical issues that should be operationalized and accounted for in the design and development of AI Health.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102190
Number of pages10
JournalArtificial Intelligence in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Ethics
  • Healthcare
  • Medicine
  • Q-methodology


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