At the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution, the healthcare industry is experiencing a momentous shift in the direction of increasingly pervasive technologization of care. If, up until the 2000s, imagining healthcare provided by robots was a purely futuristic fantasy, today, such a scenario is in fact a concrete reality, especially in some countries, such as Japan, where nursing care is largely delivered by assistive and social robots in both public and private healthcare settings, as well as in home care. &is revolution in the context of care, already underway in many countries and destined to take place soon on a global scale, raises obvious ethical issues, related primarily to the progressive dehumanization of healthcare, a process which, moreover, has undergone an important acceleration following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it necessary to devise new systems to deliver healthcare services while minimizing interhuman contact. According to leading industry experts, nurses will be the primary users of healthcare robots in the short term. &e aim of this study is to provide a general overview, through a scoping review approach, of the most relevant ethical issues that have emerged in the nursing care field in relation to the increasingly decisive role that service robots play in the provision of care. Specifically, through the adoption of the populationconcept-context framework, we formulated this broad question: what are the most relevant ethical issues directly impacting clinical practice that arise in nursing care delivered by assistive and social robots? We conducted the review according to the fivestep methodology outlined by Arksey and O’Malley. &e first two steps, formulating the main research question and carrying out the literature search, were performed based on the population-context-concept (PCC) framework suggested by the Joanna Briggs Institute. Starting from an initial quota of 2,328 scientific papers, we performed an initial screening through a computer system by eliminating duplicated and non-English language articles. &e next step consisted of selection based on a reading of the titles and abstracts, adopting four precise exclusion criteria: articles related to a nonnursing environment, articles dealing with bioethical aspects in a marginal way, articles related to technological devices other than robots, and articles that did not treat the dynamics of human-robot relationships in depth. Of the 2,328 titles and abstracts screened, we included 14. &e results of the 14 papers revealed the existence of nonnegligible difficulties in the integration of robotic systems within nursing, leading to a lively search for new theoretical ethical frameworks, in which robots can find a place; concurrent with this exploration are the frantic attempts to identify the best ethical design system applicable to robots who work alongside nurses in hospital wards. In the final part of the paper, we also proposed considerations about the Italian nursing context and the legal implications of nursing care provided by robots in light of the Italian legislative panorama. Regarding future perspectives, this paper offers insights regarding robot engagement strategies within nursing

The Increasing Centrality of Robotic Technology in the Context of Nursing Care: Bioethical Implications Analyzed through a Scoping Review Approach

Gibelli Filippo
;
Turrina Stefania;De Leo Domenico
2021

Abstract

At the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution, the healthcare industry is experiencing a momentous shift in the direction of increasingly pervasive technologization of care. If, up until the 2000s, imagining healthcare provided by robots was a purely futuristic fantasy, today, such a scenario is in fact a concrete reality, especially in some countries, such as Japan, where nursing care is largely delivered by assistive and social robots in both public and private healthcare settings, as well as in home care. &is revolution in the context of care, already underway in many countries and destined to take place soon on a global scale, raises obvious ethical issues, related primarily to the progressive dehumanization of healthcare, a process which, moreover, has undergone an important acceleration following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it necessary to devise new systems to deliver healthcare services while minimizing interhuman contact. According to leading industry experts, nurses will be the primary users of healthcare robots in the short term. &e aim of this study is to provide a general overview, through a scoping review approach, of the most relevant ethical issues that have emerged in the nursing care field in relation to the increasingly decisive role that service robots play in the provision of care. Specifically, through the adoption of the populationconcept-context framework, we formulated this broad question: what are the most relevant ethical issues directly impacting clinical practice that arise in nursing care delivered by assistive and social robots? We conducted the review according to the fivestep methodology outlined by Arksey and O’Malley. &e first two steps, formulating the main research question and carrying out the literature search, were performed based on the population-context-concept (PCC) framework suggested by the Joanna Briggs Institute. Starting from an initial quota of 2,328 scientific papers, we performed an initial screening through a computer system by eliminating duplicated and non-English language articles. &e next step consisted of selection based on a reading of the titles and abstracts, adopting four precise exclusion criteria: articles related to a nonnursing environment, articles dealing with bioethical aspects in a marginal way, articles related to technological devices other than robots, and articles that did not treat the dynamics of human-robot relationships in depth. Of the 2,328 titles and abstracts screened, we included 14. &e results of the 14 papers revealed the existence of nonnegligible difficulties in the integration of robotic systems within nursing, leading to a lively search for new theoretical ethical frameworks, in which robots can find a place; concurrent with this exploration are the frantic attempts to identify the best ethical design system applicable to robots who work alongside nurses in hospital wards. In the final part of the paper, we also proposed considerations about the Italian nursing context and the legal implications of nursing care provided by robots in light of the Italian legislative panorama. Regarding future perspectives, this paper offers insights regarding robot engagement strategies within nursing
Nursing Care
Robotic Technology
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1049090
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