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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Milica Milutinovic and Bart De Decker

The medical advances and historical fluctuations in the demographics are contributing to the rise of the average age. These changes are increasing the pressure to organize…

Abstract

Purpose

The medical advances and historical fluctuations in the demographics are contributing to the rise of the average age. These changes are increasing the pressure to organize adequate care to a growing number of individuals. As a way to provide efficient and cost-effective care, eHealth systems are gaining importance. However, this trend is creating new ethical concerns. Major issues are privacy and patients’ control over their data. To deploy these systems on a large scale, they need to offer strict privacy protection. Even though many research proposals focus on eHealth systems and related ethical requirements, there is an evident lack of practical solutions for protecting users’ personal information. The purpose of this study is to explore the ethical considerations related to these systems and extract the privacy requirements. This paper also aims to put forth a system design which ensures appropriate privacy protection.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper investigates the existing work in the area of eHealth systems and the related ethical considerations, which establish privacy as one of the main requirements. It lists the ethical requirements and data protection standards that a system needs to fulfil and uses them as a guideline for creating the proposed design.

Findings

Even though privacy is considered to be a paramount aspect of the eHealth systems, the existing proposals do not tackle this issue from the outset of the design. Consequently, introducing privacy at the final stages of the system deployment imposes significant limitations and the provided data protection is not always to the standards expected by the users.

Originality/value

This paper motivates the need for addressing ethical concerns in the eHealth domain with special focus on establishing strict privacy protection. It lists the privacy requirements and offers practical solutions for developing a privacy-friendly system and takes the approach of privacy-by-design. Additionally, the proposed design is evaluated against ethical principles as proposed in the existing literature. The aim is to show that technological advances can be used to improve quality and efficiency of care, while the usually raised concerns can be avoided.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 May 2020

Vesna Nikolic, Tamara Vukic, Tatjana Maletaski and Milica Andevski

The purpose of this paper is to examine university students’ attitudes towards the concept of sustainable development and towards the need for the implementation of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine university students’ attitudes towards the concept of sustainable development and towards the need for the implementation of education for sustainable development into the higher education system. To that end, the paper explores in a process-oriented focus which drivers and barriers are experienced as being the most important ones and how they relate to one another.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the questionnaire for the evaluation of attitudes towards the concept of sustainable development. This instrument consists of 9 batteries with 83 items presented in the form of the five-point Likert scale. The questionnaire evaluated different aspects of respondents’ attitudes towards the concept of sustainable development, but students’ attitudes in relation to the items from the following subscales will be presented for this paper: understanding the concept of sustainable development, position of sustainable development in the system of higher education, sources of information about sustainable development and entities responsible for sustainable development. The study sample consisted of students from the University of Novi Sad, specifically from the faculties with accredited programs in the field of humanities and technological sciences.

Findings

In general, students recognized the main determinants of sustainable development and they support an integral approach to sustainability, i.e. the need to include the knowledge, values and skills for sustainable development in the higher education programs. In addition, they identified a number of obstacles and the uncertainties of overcoming them. In this regard, the students did not recognize the responsibility of the higher education institutions as the key responsibility or their own responsibility in relation to sustainable development, which can be related to their feeling of marginalization and the doubt that their behaviour and decisions can influence the development of the local society, as well as the development of the society as a whole. On the other hand, the respondents acknowledged the role, the importance and the responsibility of the mass media in the process of developing the attitudes towards and opinions about the problems related to environmental protection and sustainable development.

Practical implications

The results of the study indicate the students’ attitudes towards sustainable development, thus making the directions for higher education reform clearer and in line with the present needs for sustainable development in Serbia. The obtained results can serve as a recommendation to the governing structures, i.e. to the relevant ministries of education and environmental protection, as well as to the universities in terms of which direction their process of planning and creating paths of sustainability should take. This is particularly important in the case of the Republic of Serbia, which is currently in the process of joining the European Union and responding to the requirements set by the process of negotiation for Chapter 27 in terms of improving the strategic framework and plans for the education for sustainable development and building the capacities in response to climate change. On the other hand, linking the results of this research with the results of similar studies around the world contributes to the further enrichment of the scientific knowledge base in this field and confirms the need for stronger and united efforts on the path to a sustainable future. It is a fact that, regardless of the national, economic, socio-political and cultural context, there is a global lack of success in shaping a humane and sustainable relationship between man and nature. Therefore, the results of this research should be considered as an invitation for new research initiatives regarding the ways to support the positive attitudes of students towards the concept of sustainable development and to facilitate their further development in the educational process, as well as in other academic domains.

Originality/value

This research is inspired by the fact that, in the Balkan countries, education for sustainable development has not been extensively discussed within the scientific discourse on higher education for sustainable development. This is one of the first papers to provide data about students’ attitudes towards the concept of sustainable development and the need for its implementation in the higher education system in Serbia. The value of the paper lies in its potential to help understand the role that different drivers and barriers play in higher education for sustainable development.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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