Keywords: Soft-Law; Telemedicine; Information and Communication Technologies; Ethics of Telemedicine.
Over the last decade, EU member states have adopted the first rules aimed at regulating telemedicine services. The advantages and reliability of these applications, however, have yet to be fully demonstrated. Italian lawmakers have in the meantime entrusted an expert panel with issuing a set of guidelines for developing telemedicine in the national healthcare system. But this soft-law approach raises several questions, for it does not so much address the concerns raised by the use of telemedicine in healthcare as it simply encourages a wholesale uptake of this new practice. This article argues, by contrast, that the conflicting interests involved in any broad implementation of remote healthcare services must clearly be brought under the scrutiny of a properly constructed ethics of telemedicine.