International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care

General Essays

Ethical Issues in Technology Assessment: Conceptual Categories and Procedural Considerations

Elizabeth Heitmana1

a1 The University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health


The practice of health care technology assessment involves ethical considerations in all of its varied functions and techniques. Ethical issues in technology assessment can be grouped into the broad categories of normative concepts, diagnosis, prevention and therapy, research and the advancement of knowledge, and allocation of resources. Moreover, the ethics of the assessment process itself must be evaluated in terms of the integrity of the project's goals, procedures, and effects, and evaluators’ open and self-critical acknowledgment of their purposes. As a relatively new field, technology assessment can benefit from using a variety of analytic approaches as it works to develop its own methods for evaluating ethical issues related to technology.