Doctoral dissertation defense: Peter Bergwall
The dissertation defense will be conducted online. Follow this link on May 7 at 13:00 to join (passcode: 2020)
Exploring paths of justice in the digital healthcare
Online doctors, healthcare services provided via smartphone apps, have gone from being peripheral to seriously challenging the conventional way of providing healthcare in Sweden. Through two online surveys, this study investigated whether the respondents perceived the Swedish online doctor Kry as a fair healthcare service and how these perceptions influenced their will to use the service.
Swedish healthcare law provides that the healthcare should strive towards an equal healthcare for the entire population and be guided, for instance, by the needs principle, which states that those in most need of care should receive care first. However, through political and legal reforms during the last decade or two, the healthcare has been reformed into a quasi-market with free choice as a guiding principle. Influenced by critical realism and Alan Norrie's sociology of law, it is showed that these reforms have introduced a conflict between the individual’s right to choose freely, and the requirement for the healthcare to make priorities based on needs, solidarity, and cost-effectiveness. Swedish online doctors as a phenomenon have emerged in this context.
Unlike the health system at large, online doctors are well equipped for a healthcare guided by free choice and which is becoming increasingly consumer-driven. It is argued that the survey respondents perceive of the Kry experience in a way that resembles the experience of online shopping. Online doctors accommodate free choice, the right to receive healthcare when one demands it, but they do not seem to contribute to a more equal healthcare for the entire population. This discrepancy between ethical principles is built into the Swedish health system and into Swedish healthcare law.
Professor Bettina Lemann Kristiansen
Department of Law, Aarhus University
Professor Alan Norrie
School of Law, The Univeristy of Warwick
Associate professor Stefan Larsson
Department of Technology and Society, Lund University
Associate professor Ida Nafstad
Sociology of Law Department, Lund University
Professor Måns Svensson
School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Halmstad University