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Care robots: safe or unethical?

As care robots gain momentum in the global aged care industry, experts are raising ethical concerns over the potential impact of replacing human companionship with technology.

“Once you begin to have robots that do things that humans do increasingly well, then you run the risk of a slippery slope towards further and further replacement of human care and the human touch,” said Dr Simon Coghlan from the University of Melbourne.

Coghlan examined this issue in his recent article published in the International Journal of Social Robotics.

With multiple aged care homes in NSW battling COVID-19 outbreaks, robots have also been hailed as a potential solution to fill in the gaps brought about by increased staff shortages and social distancing. 

Ultimately, having the availability of choice is essential when dealing with non-human carers, according to Coghlan.

“It’s important to respect an individual's point of view and individual autonomy.” 

He joined Aged Care Insite to discuss the rise of robots, their future in the industry, and the ethics of non-human care.

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One comment

  1. Anton Hutchinson

    Robots? Human care is essential when caring,any caring!
    What exactly would a robot do? Production line care isn’t any kind of advancement.

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