Parsons, JA (2021) The telemedical imperative. Bioethics, 35 (4). 298 - 306.

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Technology presents a means of improving health outcomes for vast numbers of individuals. It has historically been deployed to streamline healthcare delivery and reach those who would previously have faced obstacles to accessing services. It has also enabled improved health education and management. Telemedicine can be employed in everything from primary care consultations to the monitoring of chronic diseases. Despite recommendation by the World Health Organization, countries have been slow to embrace such technology in the health sector. Nonetheless, it is expected to become more prevalent with increased digitization. Further, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a rush to implement forms of telemedicine where possible to prevent patients breaking social distancing rules. In this paper, I present and defend what I term the 'telemedical imperative'. The telemedical imperative represents a duty for healthcare systems to implement remote access to services where possible, thereby furthering the mission of equity in access to healthcare. It is intended as an addition to in-person services rather than a replacement. After highlighting the benefits of telemedicine, I provide four criteria that must be met for the telemedical imperative to arise. The first three-safety, effectiveness, and acceptability-are consistent and essential. The fourth adapts to the service in question and requires that there be no other obstacles specific to that service that cannot reasonably be overcome. Finally, I address several potential objections to the telemedical imperative based on more general concerns around the implementation of telemedicine.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors. Bioethics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: autonomy health inequity justice remote healthcare telemedicine
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 May 2023 14:16
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 14:16

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