Mental health, big data and research ethics : parity of esteem in mental health research from a UK perspective

Morton, JW ORCID: and O'Reilly, M 2019, 'Mental health, big data and research ethics : parity of esteem in mental health research from a UK perspective' , Clinical Ethics, 14 (4) , pp. 165-172.

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Central to ethical debates in contemporary mental health research are the rhetoric of parity of esteem, challenges underpinned by the social construct of vulnerability, and the tendency to homogenise the population diagnosed with mental health conditions. Such ethical dimensions are further complicated by the contemporary endeavour to work with ‘big data’ which has led to ambitious claims for discovery and knowledge. Research in mental health is challenging due to the perceived constraints of ethical principles such as the protection of autonomy, consent, risk and harms. This article discusses how ethical considerations need to be reconceptualised when using big data sets. The argument is foregrounded with an appraisal of the prevailing political discourse of parity of esteem demonstrating that ongoing disparities in services and research should also be considered when inquiry uses big data.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Clinical Ethics
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 1477-7509
Related URLs:
Depositing User: JW Morton
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2019 10:32
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 02:24

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