Ethics and Information Technology 16 (1):63-75 (2014)

Authors
Amanda Jane Caroline Sharkey
University of Sheffield
Abstract
This paper explores the relationship between dignity and robot care for older people. It highlights the disquiet that is often expressed about failures to maintain the dignity of vulnerable older people, but points out some of the contradictory uses of the word ‘dignity’. Certain authors have resolved these contradictions by identifying different senses of dignity; contrasting the inviolable dignity inherent in human life to other forms of dignity which can be present to varying degrees. The Capability Approach (CA) is introduced as a different but tangible account of what it means to live a life worthy of human dignity. It is used here as a framework for the assessment of the possible effects of eldercare robots on human dignity. The CA enables the identification of circumstances in which robots could enhance dignity by expanding the set of capabilities that are accessible to frail older people. At the same time, it is also possible within its framework to identify ways in which robots could have a negative impact, by impeding the access of older people to essential capabilities. It is concluded that the CA has some advantages over other accounts of dignity, but that further work and empirical study is needed in order to adapt it to the particular circumstances and concerns of those in the latter part of their lives.
Keywords robot ethics  robot  dignity  capability approach  elder care
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-014-9338-5
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References found in this work BETA

Disadvantage.Jonathan Wolff & Avner de-Shalit - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Women and Human Development.Martha C. Nussbaum - 2003 - Mind 112 (446):372-375.
Designing Robots for Care: Care Centered Value-Sensitive Design.Aimee van Wynsberghe - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (2):407-433.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Societal and Ethical Issues of Digitization.Lambèr Royakkers, Jelte Timmer, Linda Kool & Rinie van Est - 2018 - Ethics and Information Technology 20 (2):127-142.
Robots in Aged Care: A Dystopian Future.Robert Sparrow - 2016 - AI and Society 31 (4):1-10.
Autonomous Weapons Systems, Killer Robots and Human Dignity.Amanda Sharkey - 2019 - Ethics and Information Technology 21 (2):75-87.
Service Robots, Care Ethics, and Design.A. van Wynsberghe - 2016 - Ethics and Information Technology 18 (4):311-321.
Should We Welcome Robot Teachers?Amanda J. C. Sharkey - 2016 - Ethics and Information Technology 18 (4):283-297.

View all 28 citations / Add more citations

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