Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-13-2022


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Health Care Ethics


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Gerard Magill, PhD, The Vernon F. Gallagher Chair

Committee Member

Joris Gielen, PhD, Director, Center for Global Health Ethics

Committee Member

Peter Ikechukwu Osuji, C.S.Sp., PhD

Committee Member

Joris Gielen, PhD


Clinical ethics, Public health ethics, Surveillance and privacy, Big data, Personalized healthcare, Data analysis, Global research


The recognition of the need to undertake surveillance and to protect privacy is well established. However, the continually changing circumstances and fast-paced development of healthcare today requires a continuing need to respect this ethical tension between surveillance and privacy. Hence, this dissertation is to respect the ethical tension between surveillance and privacy in promoting public health and disease management. This dissertation investigates the ethics of conducting public health surveillance, including the challenges associated with obtaining consent and protecting data from unauthorized access. The dissertation will focus on the ethical consequences of big data, including issues associated with obtaining informed consent, data ownership, and privacy. As the dissertation concludes, it will provide an ethical justification of observing privacy in public health surveillance.

The analysis is pursued in the dissertation in the following manner. After a brief introduction in Chapter 1, the analysis begins in Chapter 2 by explaining the importance of consent with regard to protecting privacy, including confidentiality in clinical ethics. Chapter 3 moves the discussion to the realm of public health ethics, discussing two examples of population health matters to illustrate the dissertation’s focus. Chapter 4 focuses on the complex issue of disease management for which the ethical tension between surveillance and privacy is pivotal. Chapter 5 then discusses the critical need for respecting this ethical tension in research protocols from a global perspective. Chapter 6 moves the discussion to the fast-developing debate of data analysis in healthcare for which respecting the ethical tension between surveillance and privacy will be pivotal for the continuing success in this new arena. Finally, Chapter 7 provides a brief conclusion to the dissertation.



Additional Citations

Kamal Althobaiti (2021): Surveillance in Next-Generation Personalized Healthcare: Science and Ethics of Data Analytics in Healthcare, The New Bioethics, DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2021.1993055