Navigation auf


Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

New publication: Exploring the role of AI in classifying, analyzing, and generating case reports on assisted suicide cases: feasibility and ethical implications

Giovanni Spitale, Gerold Schneider, Federico Germani, and Nikola Biller-Andorno published a new paper on Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. The paper, titled «Exploring the role of AI in classifying, analyzing, and generating case reports on assisted suicide cases: feasibility and ethical implications» investigates the use of various AI models in processing case reports related to assisted suicide. The research involved scraping data from Dutch regional bioethics committees, training AI models for classification, and experimenting with AI-generated synthetic case reports. The study explores the potential and ethical considerations of AI in this sensitive area, highlighting the importance of human involvement in decision-making and the potential of AI in bioethical contexts.

This paper presents a study on the use of AI models for the classification of case reports on assisted suicide procedures. The database of the five Dutch regional bioethics committees was scraped to collect the 72 case reports available in English. We trained several AI models for classification according to the categories defined by the Dutch Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act. We also conducted a related project to fine-tune an OpenAI GPT-3.5-turbo large language model for generating new fictional but plausible cases. As AI is increasingly being used for judgement, it is possible to imagine an application in decision-making regarding assisted suicide. Here we explore two arising questions: feasibility and ethics, with the aim of contributing to a critical assessment of the potential role of AI in decision-making in highly sensitive areas.

Transparent research using open science best practice
Following Open Science best practices, code and raw data from this study are available via an OSF repository. Giovanni Spitale, who is also an UZH Open Science Ambassador, states: “Open science is essential in research for promoting transparency and responsibility, enabling examination and replication. For our study on AI's role in assisted suicide case reports, this approach is particularly crucial. It allows stakeholders to review and assess the data, code, and intermediate materials. This enhances the trustworthiness of our research and aids in facilitating informed discussions about the implications and challenges of AI in this sensitive bioethical field”.
For detailed information, you can access the full paper here.