All Publications

  • Ethical issues in using ambient intelligence in health-care settings. The Lancet. Digital health Martinez-Martin, N., Luo, Z., Kaushal, A., Adeli, E., Haque, A., Kelly, S. S., Wieten, S., Cho, M. K., Magnus, D., Fei-Fei, L., Schulman, K., Milstein, A. 2020


    Ambient intelligence is increasingly finding applications in health-care settings, such as helping to ensure clinician and patient safety by monitoring staff compliance with clinical best practices or relieving staff of burdensome documentation tasks. Ambient intelligence involves using contactless sensors and contact-based wearable devices embedded in health-care settings to collect data (eg, imaging data of physical spaces, audio data, or body temperature), coupled with machine learning algorithms to efficiently and effectively interpret these data. Despite the promise of ambient intelligence to improve quality of care, the continuous collection of large amounts of sensor data in health-care settings presents ethical challenges, particularly in terms of privacy, data management, bias and fairness, and informed consent. Navigating these ethical issues is crucial not only for the success of individual uses, but for acceptance of the field as a whole.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S2589-7500(20)30275-2

    View details for PubMedID 33358138

  • Letter of concern regarding "Reduction in COVID-19 infection using surgical facial masks outside the healthcare system" DANISH MEDICAL JOURNAL Haber, N. A., Wieten, S. E., Smith, E. R. 2020; 67 (12)
  • Letter of concern regarding Reduction in COVID-19 infection using surgical facial masks outside the healthcare system. Danish medical journal Haber, N. A., Wieten, S. E., Smith, E. R. 2020; 67 (12)

    View details for PubMedID 33269698

  • Variation in the design of Do Not Resuscitate orders and other code status options: a multi-institutional qualitative study. BMJ quality & safety Batten, J. N., Blythe, J. A., Wieten, S., Cotler, M. P., Kayser, J. B., Porter-Williamson, K., Harman, S., Dzeng, E., Magnus, D. 2020


    BACKGROUND: US hospitals typically provide a set of code status options that includes Full Code and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) but often includes additional options. Although US hospitals differ in the design of code status options, this variation and its impacts have not been empirically studied.DESIGN AND METHODS: Multi-institutional qualitative study at 7 US hospitals selected for variability in geographical location, type of institution and design of code status options. We triangulated across three data sources (policy documents, code status ordering menus and in-depth physician interviews) to characterise the code status options available at each hospital. Using inductive qualitative methods, we investigated design differences in hospital code status options and the perceived impacts of these differences.RESULTS: The code status options at each hospital varied widely with regard to the number of code status options, the names and definitions of code status options, and the formatting and capabilities of code status ordering menus. DNR orders were named and defined differently at each hospital studied. We identified five key design characteristics that impact the function of a code status order. Each hospital's code status options were unique with respect to these characteristics, indicating that code status plays differing roles in each hospital. Physician participants perceived that the design of code status options shapes communication and decision-making practices about resuscitation and life-sustaining treatments, especially at the end of life. We identified four potential mechanisms through which this may occur: framing conversations, prompting decisions, shaping inferences and creating categories.CONCLUSIONS: There are substantive differences in the design of hospital code status options that may contribute to known variability in end-of-life care and treatment intensity among US hospitals. Our framework can be used to design hospital code status options or evaluate their function.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjqs-2020-011222

    View details for PubMedID 33082165

  • Mechanisms, laws and explanation EUROPEAN JOURNAL FOR PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE Cartwright, N., Pemberton, J., Wieten, S. 2020; 10 (3)
  • Digital Contact Tracing, Privacy, and Public Health HASTINGS CENTER REPORT Martinez-Martin, N., Wieten, S., Magnus, D., Cho, M. K. 2020; 50 (3): 43–46


    Digital contact tracing, in combination with widespread testing, has been a focal point for many plans to "reopen" economies while containing the spread of Covid-19. Most digital contact tracing projects in the United States and Europe have prioritized privacy protections in the form of local storage of data on smartphones and the deidentification of information. However, in the prioritization of privacy in this narrow form, there is not sufficient attention given to weighing ethical trade-offs within the context of a public health pandemic or to the need to evaluate safety and effectiveness of software-based technology applied to public health.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/hast.1131

    View details for Web of Science ID 000609626200020

    View details for PubMedID 32596893

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7361453

  • Resource Allocation in COVID-19 Research: Which Trials? Which Patients? The American journal of bioethics : AJOB Wieten, S. n., Burgart, A. n., Cho, M. n. 2020; 20 (7): 86–88

    View details for DOI 10.1080/15265161.2020.1779392

    View details for PubMedID 32716767

  • Ventilator Triage Policies During the COVID-19 Pandemic at U.S. Hospitals Associated With Members of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors. Annals of internal medicine Matheny Antommaria, A. H., Gibb, T. S., McGuire, A. L., Wolpe, P. R., Wynia, M. K., Applewhite, M. K., Caplan, A. n., Diekema, D. S., Hester, D. M., Lehmann, L. S., McLeod-Sordjan, R. n., Schiff, T. n., Tabor, H. K., Wieten, S. E., Eberl, J. T. 2020


    The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has or threatens to overwhelm health care systems. Many institutions are developing ventilator triage policies.To characterize the development of ventilator triage policies and compare policy content.Survey and mixed-methods content analysis.North American hospitals associated with members of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors.Program directors.Characteristics of institutions and policies, including triage criteria and triage committee membership.Sixty-seven program directors responded (response rate, 91.8%); 36 (53.7%) hospitals did not yet have a policy, and 7 (10.4%) hospitals' policies could not be shared. The 29 institutions providing policies were relatively evenly distributed among the 4 U.S. geographic regions (range, 5 to 9 policies per region). Among the 26 unique policies analyzed, 3 (11.3%) were produced by state health departments. The most frequently cited triage criteria were benefit (25 policies [96.2%]), need (14 [53.8%]), age (13 [50.0%]), conservation of resources (10 [38.5%]), and lottery (9 [34.6%]). Twenty-one (80.8%) policies use scoring systems, and 20 of these (95.2%) use a version of the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score. Among the policies that specify the triage team's composition (23 [88.5%]), all require or recommend a physician member, 20 (87.0%) a nurse, 16 (69.6%) an ethicist, 8 (34.8%) a chaplain, and 8 (34.8%) a respiratory therapist. Thirteen (50.0% of all policies) require or recommend those making triage decisions not be involved in direct patient care, but only 2 (7.7%) require that their decisions be blinded to ethically irrelevant considerations.The results may not be generalizable to institutions without academic bioethics programs.Over one half of respondents did not have ventilator triage policies. Policies have substantial heterogeneity, and many omit guidance on fair implementation.

    View details for DOI 10.7326/M20-1738

    View details for PubMedID 32330224

  • Response to "Will We Code for Default ECMO?": Clarifying the Scope of Do-Not-ECMO Orders. AMA journal of ethics Blythe, J. A., Wieten, S. E., Batten, J. N. 2019; 21 (10): E926–929

    View details for DOI 10.1001/amajethics.2019.926

    View details for PubMedID 31651394

  • A Tapestry of Values: An Introduction to Values in Science (Book Review) PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE Book Review Authored by: Wieten, S. 2019; 86 (2): 378–83

    View details for DOI 10.1086/702030

    View details for Web of Science ID 000462065800011

  • Informed Consent: A Matter of Aspiration Since 1966 (At Least) AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BIOETHICS Wieten, S., Blythe, J., Magnus, D. 2019; 19 (5): 3–5
  • No Escalation of Treatment: Moving Beyond the Withholding/Withdrawing Debate AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BIOETHICS Batten, J. N., Blythe, J. A., Wieten, S. E., Dzeng, E. W. 2019; 19 (3): 63–65