In this work I am discussing the possibilities and limitations of two objective list approaches to human dignity for assessing the impact of the use of carebots in aged care facilities, focusing on the application in the context of the German legal framework and health care regime. Both the capabilities approach in the interpretation of Martha Nussbaum (CA) and a definition of human dignity from the perspective of the psychology of shame (SD) have been proposed as an ethical framework for improving the quality of care with the overarching goal of preserving human dignity. I will first demonstrate that the CA conflicts with German law with respect to patients in a persistent vegetative state and—due to its definition of the human being based on abilities and active striving—runs the risk of not recognizing a large majority of people in need of care as human beings and thus as bearers of dignity. With respect to the SD, the robot introduces a new kind of shame—Promethean shame—into the complex network of stakeholder relationships, which the SD cannot grasp in its current definition.
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