Opinions and reports by ASIP Santé's Council of ethics and deontology now online

Éthique | 09 Oct 2012

By Dr Jacques Lucas, chair of ASIP Santé's Conseil d'éthique et de déontologie (Council of ethics and deontology), and Michel Gagneux, chair of ASIP Santé's board of directors
ASIP Santé has had an ethics council from its very beginning, the purpose of which is to advise and inform the agency's managers in the course of its work.
The computerization of individuals' healthcare data, which has resulted from the development of information systems for various purposes, means that the agency has an ongoing ethical duty to determine the role and rights of patients, as well as the rights and responsibilities of healthcare professionals.

With this duty in mind, the challenges of computerizing the healthcare system are societal, psychological/sociological, legal and ethical in nature. For this reason, ASIP Santé's ethics council members are highly qualified professionals from a variety of backgrounds, such as medicine, law, philosophy and communications (see the current membership of ASIP Santé's ethics and deontology council. Pdf in French).

Chaired by a representative from the French national medical association, the ethics and deontology council carried out independent work in 2011, and presented the agency's directorate with several assessments on subjects referred to the council or that it investigated itself. Its report will be made public after it is sent to the board of directors.

The opinions and reports of the ethics and deontology council are obviously not meant to remain confidential. On the contrary in fact – they must contribute to increased collective reflection on these subjects, which are often complex. For this reason, they will from now on be published in a new section of the agency's website, along with (if necessary) any responses that the agency's directors consider appropriate.

This process will provide a transparent view of the joint and separate concerns of ASIP Santé and its ethics and deontology council.