Public views on ethical issues in healthcare artificial intelligence: protocol for a scoping review

Publication Name

Systematic Reviews


Background: In recent years, innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) have led to the development of new healthcare AI (HCAI) technologies. Whilst some of these technologies show promise for improving the patient experience, ethicists have warned that AI can introduce and exacerbate harms and wrongs in healthcare. It is important that HCAI reflects the values that are important to people. However, involving patients and publics in research about AI ethics remains challenging due to relatively limited awareness of HCAI technologies. This scoping review aims to map how the existing literature on publics’ views on HCAI addresses key issues in AI ethics and governance. Methods: We developed a search query to conduct a comprehensive search of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, and Academic Search Complete from January 2010 onwards. We will include primary research studies which document publics’ or patients’ views on machine learning HCAI technologies. A coding framework has been designed and will be used capture qualitative and quantitative data from the articles. Two reviewers will code a proportion of the included articles and any discrepancies will be discussed amongst the team, with changes made to the coding framework accordingly. Final results will be reported quantitatively and qualitatively, examining how each AI ethics issue has been addressed by the included studies. Discussion: Consulting publics and patients about the ethics of HCAI technologies and innovations can offer important insights to those seeking to implement HCAI ethically and legitimately. This review will explore how ethical issues are addressed in literature examining publics’ and patients’ views on HCAI, with the aim of determining the extent to which publics’ views on HCAI ethics have been addressed in existing research. This has the potential to support the development of implementation processes and regulation for HCAI that incorporates publics’ values and perspectives.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access





Article Number




Link to publisher version (DOI)