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Personal autonomy in elderly and disabled: How assistive technologies impact on it

AuthorsMorte Ferrer, Ricardo; Toboso-Martín, Mario CSIC ORCID ; Aparicio Payá, Manuel; Ausín, Txetxu CSIC ; Monasterio Astobiza, Aníbal; López Castro, Daniel
Issue Date2020
PublisherWalter de Gruyter
CitationHaltaufderheide, J.; Hovemann, J.; Vollmann, J. (eds.). Aging between Participation and Simulation. Ethical Dimensions of Socially Assistive Technologies in Elderly Care. Walter de Gruyter: 185-198 (2020)
AbstractTechnological change has been notable in recent decades, including the field of assistive technologies aimed at promoting the autonomy of the elderly and disabled people. Personal autonomy is possible thanks to ethical-juridical protection through reciprocally recognized human rights (civil and political, economic, social and cultural, third generation). The current technological change could produce an alteration in the exercise of personal autonomy, putting at risk its normative protection, since some of these rights currently require technological mediations to be able to be carried out. Nowadays, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) governs as the international normative framework that defines and protects the autonomy of people with disabilities, mostly elderly, and includes important references to technological developments. New assistive technologies, that can be used to record physiological variables or to monitor habitual patterns of life, are suggested as devices that promote personal autonomy. Health monitoring could impact privacy, identity, integrity, and the protection of personal data. Therefore, it is necessary to broaden the ethical reflection from the CRPD to the relevant regulations on privacy and data protection (General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] and Draft Privacy Regulation ePrivacy) and the Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) provided in Art. 35 GDPR, which is especially relevant for the realm of assistive technologies. In this contribution we show how technological change affects some aspects of personal autonomy, its normative protection, privacy, and care.
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