Algorithmic Discrimination in Clinical Decision Support Systems

Seminar with Mathias K. Hauglid


Machine learning approaches can improve the quality and efficiency of clinical decision-making processes. At the same time, experiences with big data and machine learning in other areas of society show that there is reason to worry about the neutrality and fairness of ML-based systems. Concern arises particularly in respect of the impact of ML-based systems on vulnerable minority groups, especially groups that have suffered from inequality and discrimination in the past. From a legal perspective, the attention to algorithmic discrimination has been particularly strong in the contexts of the criminal justice system, employment, and online, personalized advertisement. To protect people from unfair treatment, a fundamental right to ‘non-discrimination’ is recognized in international human rights conventions, in the European Convention of Human Rights, in EU law, and in the national laws and constitutions of many countries. As is typical for laws implementing fundamental rights, non-discrimination laws are broadly formulated and require contextual interpretation before they can be operationalized in a certain decision context. The PhD project explores the definition of discrimination in EU law in the specific context of clinical decision-making, and then asks how EU law can facilitate effective control with algorithmic discrimination in ML-based decision support systems. The latter question is viewed in light of prior scholarly critique of the (lack of) effectiveness in enforcement mechanisms available under EU non-discrimination law.


Please register no later than 3 November 2021 at 10:00 using this registration form.


Mathias K. Hauglid is a doctoral research fellow at UiT the Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø). Before commencing the PhD project, Mathias worked as a lawyer in an Oslo-based law firm, where he focused on IT contracts, privacy and data protection, and intellectual property rights. He is also engaged in a part-time position as advisor at the Norwegian Centre for Clinical Artificial Intelligence, which was established in 2021. On assignment from Karnov Group Norway, he has authored commentaries on the Norwegian Health Research Act and the Health Personnel Act.