How far should we go in protecting and promoting publichealth? Can we force people to give up unhealthy habits and make healthier choices, or does everyone have the right to decide their own lifestyle? Should we stop treating smokers who refuse to give up smoking? Should we put a tax on fatty foods and ban vending machines in schools to address the obesity epidemic? Should parents be required to have their children vaccinated? Are some of our screening (...) programmes unethical Downs syndrome screening, for example or should we be screening people for more conditions, such as Huntington disease? Such questions are at the heart of publichealth ethics. Holland shows that to understand and debate these issues requires philosophy: moral philosophies, such as utilitarianism and deontology, as well as political philosophies such as liberalism and communitarianism. And philosophy informs other aspects of publichealth, such as epidemiology and health promotion. The aim of this book is to provide a lively, accessible and philosophically informed introduction to such issues. It is an ideal textbook for students taking courses in publichealth ethics. And since this book develops systematic discussions of issues in publichealth ethics, there is also much here to engage and challenge the more advanced reader. (shrink)
There are a number of important links and similarities between publichealth and safety. In this extended essay, Gregg D. Caruso defends and expands his publichealth-quarantine model, which is a non-retributive alternative for addressing criminal behavior that draws on the publichealth framework and prioritizes prevention and social justice. In developing his account, he explores the relationship between publichealth and safety, focusing on how social inequalities and systemic injustices affect (...) class='Hi'>health outcomes and crime rates, how poverty affects brain development, how offenders often have pre-existing medical conditions (especially mental health issues), how involvement in the criminal justice system itself can lead to or worsen health and cognitive problems, how treatment and rehabilitation methods can best be employed to reduce recidivism and reintegrate offenders back into society, and how a publichealth approach could be successfully applied within the criminal justice system. Caruso's approach draws on research from the health sciences, social sciences, public policy, law, psychiatry, medical ethics, neuroscience, and philosophy, and he delivers a set of ethically defensible and practically workable proposals for implementing the publichealth-quarantine model. The essay begins by discussing recent empirical findings in psychology, neuroscience, and the social sciences that provide us with an increased understanding of the social and neurological determinants of health and criminal behavior. It then turns to Caruso's publichealth-quarantine model and argues that the model provides the most justified, humane, and effective approach for addressing criminal behavior. Caruso concludes by proposing a capability approach to social justice grounded in six key features of human well-being. He argues that we cannot successfully address concerns over publichealth and safety without simultaneously addressing issues of social justice—including the social determinants of health (SDH) and the social determinants of criminal behavior (SDCB)—and he recommends eight general policy proposals consistent with his model. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Preface; Introduction Angus Dawson; Part I. Concepts: 1. Resetting the parameters: publichealth as the foundation for publichealth ethics Angus Dawson; 2. Health, disease and the goal of publichealth Bengt Brülde; 3. Selective reproduction, eugenics and publichealth Stephen Wilkinson; 4. Risk and precaution Stephen John; Part II. Issues: 5. Smoking, health and ethics Richard Ashcroft; 6. Infectious disease control Marcel Verweij; 7. Population screening (...) Ainsley Newson; 8. Vaccination ethics Angus Dawson; 9. Environment, ethics and publichealth: the climate change dilemma Anthony Kessel and Carolyn Stephens; 10. Publichealth research ethics: is non-exploitation the new principle for population-based research ethics? John McMillan; 11. Equity and population health: toward a broader bioethics agenda Norman Daniels; 12. Health inequities James Wilson; Index. (shrink)
In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, many states and countries have adopted publichealth restrictions on activities previously considered commonplace: crossing state borders, eating indoors, gathering together, and even leaving one’s home. These policies often focus on specific activities or groups, rather than imposing the same limits across the board. In this Article, I consider the law and ethics of these policies, which I call tailored policies. In Part II, I identify two types of tailored (...) policies--activity-based and group-based. Activity-based restrictions respond to differences in the risks and benefits of specific activities, such as walking outdoors and dining indoors. Group-based restrictions consider differences between groups with respect to risk and benefit. Examples are policies that treat children or senior citizens differently, policies that require travelers to quarantine when traveling to a new destination, and policies that treat individuals differently based on whether they have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, have previous COVID-19 infection, or have been vaccinated against COVID-19. In Part III, I consider the publichealth law grounding of tailored policies in the principles of “least restrictive means” and “well-targeting.” I also examine how courts have analyzed tailored policies that have been challenged on fundamental rights or equal protection grounds. I argue that fundamental rights analyses typically favor tailored policies and that equal protection does not preclude the use of tailored policies even when imperfectly crafted. In Part IV, I consider three critiques of tailored policies, centering on the claims that they produce inequity, cause harm, or unacceptably limit liberty. I argue that we must evaluate restrictions comparatively: the question is not whether tailored policies are perfectly equitable, wholly prevent harm, or completely protect liberty, but whether they are better than untailored ones at realizing these goals in a pandemic. I also argue that evaluation must consider indirect harms and benefits as well as direct and apparent ones. (shrink)
This encyclopedia entry provides an overview of the field of publichealth ethics. It focuses on what distinguishes publichealth ethics from other nearby subfields—especially biomedical ethics. It also frames the problems of publichealth ethics in terms of the concepts of justice and political legitimacy.
In the last fifty years, average overall health status has increased more or less in parallel with a much celebrated decline in mortality, attributed mostly to poverty reduction, sanitation, nutrition, housing, immunization, and improved medical care. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that these achievements were not equally distributed. In most countries, while some social groups have benefited significantly, the situation of others has stagnated or may even have worsened.If health is a prerequisite to a person functioning as (...) an agent, inequalities in health constitute inequalities in people's capability to function -- a denial of equality of opportunity. So why should a concern with health equity be singled out from the pursuit of social justice more generally? Can existing theories of justice provide an adequate account of health equity? And what ethical problems arise in evaluating health inequalities? These are some of the important questions that this book addresses in building an interdisciplinary understanding of health equity. With contributions from distinguished philosophers, anthropologists, economists, and public-health specialists, it centres on five major themes: what is health equity?; health equity and social justice; responsibilities for health; ethical issues in health evaluation; and anthropological perspectives. (shrink)
PublicHealth Policy and Ethics brings together philosophers and practitioners to address the foundations and principles upon which publichealth policy may be advanced. What is the basis that justifies publichealth in the first place? Why should individuals be disadvantaged for the sake of the group? How do policy concerns and clinical practice work together and work against each other? Can the boundaries of publichealth be extended to include social ills (...) that are amenable to group-dynamic solutions? These are some of the crucial questions that form the core of this volume of original essays sure to cause practitioners to engage in a critical re-evaluation of the role of ethics in publichealth policy. This volume is unique because of its philosophical approach. It develops a theoretical basis for publichealth and then examines cutting-edge issues of practice that include social and political issues of publichealth. In this way the book extends the usual purview of publichealth. PublicHealth Policy and Ethics is of interest to those working in publichealth policy, ethics and social philosophy. It may be used as a textbook for courses on publichealth policy and ethics, medical ethics, social philosophy and applied or public philosophy. (shrink)
One of the most frequently voiced criticisms of free will skepticism is that it is unable to adequately deal with criminal behavior and that the responses it would permit as justified are insufficient for acceptable social policy. This concern is fueled by two factors. The first is that one of the most prominent justifications for punishing criminals, retributivism, is incompatible with free will skepticism. The second concern is that alternative justifications that are not ruled out by the skeptical view per (...) se face significant independent moral objections (Pereboom 2014: 153). Despite these concerns, I maintain that free will skepticism leaves intact other ways to respond to criminal behavior—in particular incapacitation, rehabilitation, and alteration of relevant social conditions—and that these methods are both morally justifiable and sufficient for good social policy. The position I defend is similar to Derk Pereboom’s (2001, 2013, 2014), taking as its starting point his quarantine analogy, but it sets out to develop the quarantine model within a broader justificatory framework drawn from publichealth ethics. The resulting model—which I call the publichealth-quarantine model (Caruso 2016, 2017a)—provides a framework for justifying quarantine and criminal sanctions that is more humane than retributivism and preferable to other non-retributive alternatives. It also provides a broader approach to criminal behavior than Pereboom’s quarantine analogy does on its own since it prioritizes prevention and social justice. -/- In Section 1, I begin by (very) briefly summarizing my arguments against free will and basic desert moral responsibility. In Section 2, I then introduce and defend my publichealth-quarantine model, which is a non-retributive alternative to criminal punishment that prioritizes prevention and social justice. In Sections 3 and 4, I take up and respond to two general objections to the publichealth-quarantine model. Since objections by Michael Corrado (2016), John Lemos (2016), Saul Smilanksy (2011, 2017), and Victor Tadros (2017) have been addressed in detail elsewhere (see Pereboom 2017a; Pereboom and Caruso 2018), I will here focus on objections that have not yet been addressed. In particular, I will respond to concerns about proportionality, human dignity, and victims’ rights. I will argue that each of these concerns can be met and that in the end the publichealth-quarantine model offers a superior alternative to retributive punishment and other non-retributive accounts. (shrink)
In these twelve papers notable ethicists use the resources of ethical theory to illuminate important theoretical and practical topics, including the nature of publichealth, notions of community, population bioethics, the legitimate role of law, the use of cost-effectiveness as a methodology, vaccinations, and the nature of infectious disease.
COVID19 pandemic has clarified that publichealth policies are central for the future of human societies from several perspectives. As a matter of fact, they are based on certain premises that are practical-political (e.g., ensuring the health of citizens), moral (e.g., health is a value), or epistemological (e.g., certain ideas concerning expertise and shared knowledge). Indeed, effective policies require first and foremost not only to be based on reliable data and models (i.e., so-called evidence-based policy) but (...) also to ensure that these policies are democratically accepted, shared (e.g., considering both cognitive and social dimensions), and hopefully formed after a deliberative process involving experts from various fields alongside citizens. (shrink)
This unique textbook utilizes an integrated, case-based approach to explore how the domains of bioethics, publichealth and the social sciences impact individual patients and populations. It provides a structured framework suitable for both educators (including course directors and others engaged in curricular design) and for medical and health professions students to use in classroom settings across a range of clinical areas and allied health professions and for independent study. The textbook opens with an introduction, describing (...) the intersection of ethics and publichealth in clinical practice and the six key themes that inform the book's core learning objectives, followed by a guide to using the book. It then presents 22 case studies that address a broad spectrum of patient populations, clinical settings, and disease pathologies. Each pair of cases shares a core concept in bioethics or publichealth, from community perspectives and end-of-life care to medical mistakes and stigma and marginalization. They engage learners in rigorous clinical and ethical reasoning by prompting readers to make choices based on available information and then providing additional information to challenge assumptions, simulating clinical decision-making. In addition to providing a unique, detailed clinical scenario, each case is presented in a consistent format, which includes learning objectives, questions and responses for self-directed learning, questions and responses for group discussion, references, and suggested further reading. All cases integrate the six themes of patient- and family-centered care; evidence-based practice; structural competency; biases in decision-making; cultural humility and awareness of the culture of medicine; and justice, social responsibility and advocacy. The final section discusses some challenges to evaluating courses and learning encounters that adopt the cases and includes a model framework for learner assessment. (shrink)
The ethical dimensions of health communicators' interventions and campaigns are brought into question in this thought-provoking book. Examining the efforts to effect behavior change, the author questions how far health communication can and should go in changing people's values. The author broadens the current analysis of interventions and presents conceptual frameworks that help identify values and justifications that are embedded in health communication goals, strategies, and evaluation criteria. This critical approach helps explain how and why choices are (...) made in design and implementation, and provides constructs and frameworks to examine them. It also widens the criteria for program evaluation and policymaking, and provides practitioners, planners, policy-makers, researchers, and students with practice-oriented questions. (shrink)
Publichealth ethics, like the field of publichealth it addresses, traditionally has focused more on practice and particular cases than on theory, with the result that some concepts, methods, and boundaries remain largely undefined. This paper attempts to provide a rough conceptual map of the terrain of publichealth ethics. We begin by briefly defining publichealth and identifying general features of the field that are particularly relevant for a discussion of (...)publichealth ethics.Publichealth is primarily concerned with the health of the entire population, rather than the health of individuals. Its features include an emphasis on the promotion of health and the prevention of disease and disability; the collection and use of epidemiological data, population surveillance, and other forms of empirical quantitative assessment; a recognition of the multidimensional nature of the determinants of health; and a focus on the complex interactions of many factors—biological, behavioral, social, and environmental—in developing effective interventions. (shrink)
Publichealth involves the application of a wide variety of scientific and non-scientific disciplines to the very practical problems of improving population health and preventing disease. Publichealth has received surprisingly little attention from philosophers of science. In this chapter we consider some neglected but important philosophical aspects of the science of publichealth.
Faden, R. & Shebaya, S, PublicHealth Ethics. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Available from: htt : lato.stanford.edu archives sum2010 entries ublichealth-ethics (accessed ...
This chapter discusses how justice applies to publichealth. It begins by outlining three different metrics employed in discussions of justice: resources, capabilities, and welfare. It then discusses different accounts of justice in distribution, reviewing utilitarianism, egalitarianism, prioritarianism, and sufficientarianism, as well as desert-based theories, and applies these distributive approaches to publichealth examples. Next, it examines the interplay between distributive justice and individual rights, such as religious rights, property rights, and rights against discrimination, by discussing (...) examples such as mandatory treatment and screening. The chapter also examines the nexus between publichealth and debates concerning whose interests matter to justice (the “scope of justice”), including global justice, intergenerational justice, and environmental justice, as well as debates concerning whether justice applies to individual choices or only to institutional structures (the “site of justice”). The chapter closes with a discussion of strategies, including deliberative and aggregative democracy, for adjudicating disagreements about justice. (shrink)
One branch of bioethics assumes that mainly agents of the state are responsible for publichealth. Following Susan Sherwin’s relational ethics, we suggest moving away from a “state-centered” approach toward a more thoroughly relational approach. Indeed, certain agents must be reconstituted in and through shifting relations with others, complicating discussions of responsibility for publichealth. Drawing on two case studies—the health politics and activism of the Black Panther Party and the work of the Common Ground (...) Collective in post-Katrina New Orleans—we argue for the need to attend more carefully to the limitations of states and state-driven publichealth programs. (shrink)
This book contains original essays that look at contagious/infectious disease pandemics and the ethical public policy and administration these have entailed. In particular, the pandemics of the 1918 flu pandemic, HIV in the 1990s, SARS in 2003, Ebola from 2014–2016 and the novel COVID-19 in 2020 are highlighted. The contributions in this work offer the reader insights in these and several other recent pandemics that present differently—either via contagion or mortality rate—and how each should be addressed by countries of (...) various sorts. This book is a must for the ongoing debate on how we should treat publichealth crises, such as the one we have all just encountered in the novel COVID-19 pandemic. (shrink)
Claims that there are good arguments for a publichealth service that do not amount to arguments for a national health service, but for something that looks far more like a transnational health service.
The purpose of this article is to explore the concept and scope of publichealth and to argue that particularly in low-income contexts, where social injustice and poverty often impact significantly on the overall health of the population, the link between publichealth and social justice should be a very firm one. Furthermore, social justice in these contexts must be understood as not simply a matter for local communities and nation-states, but in so far as (...)publichealth is concerned, as a matter of global concern and responsibility. The interpretation of the scope of publichealth by any particular nation is I believe contingent on the current socio-political context and the conception of social or distributive justice that underpins this context. Furthermore I will argue here that the link between publichealth and social justice ought to be founded on a conception of social justice that adequately addresses issues of social injustice, and patterns of systematic disadvantage, that contribute to ill health and that so commonly prevail in many low- and middle-income social contexts. (shrink)
This paper presents, defends and applies a conception of publichealth ethics as focused on liberty-limiting publichealth action. This approach has been persistently criticised, but the criticism is ambiguous between two challenges: that the focus on liberty makes an objectionable presumption in favour of liberal values and that the focus on liberty fails to address institutionalised social injustice. Part One of the paper addresses both challenges to show they can be met by a nuanced account (...) of a liberty-oriented publichealth ethics. Part Two establishes that debates about policy responses to the current Covid-19 pandemic illustrate and vindicate this conception of publichealth ethics as focused on liberty-limiting publichealth action. The discussion then turns to the methodological question as to how publichealth policies are to be evaluated, focusing particular on the role of normative theory in such evaluations. The methodology of ‘wide reflective equilibrium’ is described and endorsed; the paper ends with a case study to illustrate this evaluative methodology, focused on the ethics of COVID-19 immunity passports. (shrink)
The COVID‐19 pandemic has infected millions around the world. Governments initially responded by requiring businesses to close and citizens to self‐isolate, as well as funding vaccine research and implementing a range of technologies to monitor and limit the spread of the disease. This article considers the use of smartphone metadata and Bluetooth applications for publichealth surveillance purposes in relation to COVID‐19. It undertakes ethical analysis of these measures, particularly in relation to collective moral responsibility, considering whether citizens (...) ought, or should be compelled, to comply with government measures. (shrink)
This discussion revises and extends Jonny Anomaly's ‘public goods’ account of publichealth ethics in light of recent criticism from Richard Dees. Public goods are goods that are both non-rival and non-excludable. What is significant about such goods is that they are not always provided efficiently by the market. Indeed, the state can sometimes realize efficiency gains either by supplying such goods directly or by compelling private purchase. But public goods are not the only goods (...) that the market may fail to provide efficiently. This point to a way of broadening the public goods account of publichealth to accommodate Dees' counterexamples, without abandoning its distinctive appeal. On the market failures approach to publichealth ethics, the role of publichealth is to correct publichealth-related market failures of all kinds, so far as possible. The underlying moral commitment is to economic efficiency in the sense of Pareto: if we can re-allocate resources in the economy so as to raise the welfare of some without lowering the welfare of any other, we ought to do so. (shrink)
A normatively adequate publichealth ethics needs to be anchored in political philosophy rather than in ethics. Its central ethical concerns are likely to include trust and justice, rather than autonomy and informed consent.
The legion of nettlesome, even litigious, issues at the interface of the entwined fields of law, publichealth, and ethics sorely warrant rapt, informed discussion. Indeed, unabashed confronting of the thicket of thorny issues overfilling the enmeshed, vexing fields of publichealth, law, and ethics is, in sooth, a Sisyphean task. Distinguished lawyer, experienced publichealth researcher, and very able writer Lawrence Gostin merits hearty felicitations for his workaday efforts in editing this prolix tome, (...) entitled PublicHealth Law and Ethics: a Reader, which illumines a quite broad swathe of the complex fabric of issues interconnecting law, publichealth, and ethics.The excellently edited tome crafted by Gostin is structured as a congeries of reprinted materials, principally academic articles and law cases, presented in excerpted fashion, with expert, insightful commentary provided by Gostin germane to the reprinted materials and generally appertaining to the practice and theory of publichealth law and ethics. Gostin assigned himself the daunting …. (shrink)
Khalafzai, Rida Usman In this era, health has been redefined. The emphasis has shifted from the individual-focussed bio-medical model to a preventative model of collective health. This model of publichealth often challenges the concept of individual autonomy, the basis of human rights, in the name of the greater good. This article explores the relationship between publichealth and human rights, and the need for a publichealth ethic based on the principles (...) of human rights. (shrink)
This paper proposes that publichealth is the sort of institution that has a role in producing structures of virtue in society. This proposal builds upon work that describes how virtues are structured by the practices of institutions, at the collective or whole-of-society level. This work seeks to fill a gap in publichealth ethics when it comes to virtues. Mainstay moral theories tend to incorporate some role for virtues, but within publichealth ethics (...) this role has not been fully articulated. Two recent papers have proposed ways in which the virtues might be incorporated: working from a structural account, Rozier suggests that publichealth could work to instil virtues, like temperance, in the public in order to achieve its health-related goals; Nihlén Fahlquist suggests that compassion is among three virtues that practitioners of publichealth should cultivate in order to do their work well. In the end, both accounts recommend incorporating virtues at the level of individuals, among the public and among practitioners. I propose a third kind of role for virtue in publichealth that focuses on structures. Publichealth activities take place at the population level, and a publichealth virtue ethics must also be suitably population-focussed. (shrink)
Publichealth is concerned with increasing the health of the community at whole. Insofar as health is a ‘good’ and the community constitutes a ‘public’, publichealth by definition promotes a ‘public good’. But ‘public good’ has a particular and much more narrow meaning in the economics literature, and some commentators have tried to limit the scope of publichealth to this more narrow meaning of a ‘public good’. (...) While such a move makes the content of publichealth less controversial, it also strips important goals from the realm of publichealth, goals that traditionally have been, and morally should be, a part of it. Instead, I will argue, while publichealth should be defined by public goods, it should be defined by a broader conception of public goods that I shall call ‘normative public goods’, goods that ought to be treated as if they were public goods in the more narrow sense. (shrink)
Publichealth ethics is a nascent field, emerging over the past decade as an applied field merging concepts of clinical and research ethics. Because the “patient” in publichealth is the population rather than the individual, existing principles might be weighted differently, or there might be different ethical principles to consider. This paper reviewed the evolution of publichealth ethics, the use of bioethics as its model, and the proposed frameworks for public (...) class='Hi'>health ethics through 2010. Review of 13 major publichealth ethics frameworks published over the past 15 years yields a wide variety of theoretical approaches, some similar foundational values, and a few similar operating principles. Coming to a consensus on the reach, purpose, and ends of publichealth is necessary if we are to agree on what ethical underpinnings drive us, what foundational values bring us to these underpinnings, and what operating principles practitioners must implement to make ethical decisions. If publichealth is distinct enough from clinical medicine to warrant its own set of ethical and philosophical underpinnings, then a decision must be made as to whether a single approach is warranted or we can tolerate a variety of equal but different perspectives. (shrink)
In contrast to medical care, which is focused on the individual patient, publichealth is focused on collective health. This article argues that, in order to better protect the individual, discussions of publichealth would benefit from incorporating the insights of virtue ethics. There are three reasons to for this. First, the collective focus may cause neglect of the effects of publichealth policy on the interests and rights of individuals and minorities. Second, (...) whereas the one-on-one encounters in medical care facilitate a compassionate and caring attitude, publichealth involves a distance between professionals and the public. Therefore, publichealth professionals must use imagination and care to evaluate the effects of policies on individuals. Third, the relationship between publichealth professionals and the people who are affected by the policies they design is characterized by power asymmetry, demanding a high level of responsibility from those who wield them. Against this background, it is argued that publichealth professionals should develop the virtues of responsibility, compassion and humility. The examples provided, i.e. breastfeeding information and vaccination policy, illustrate the importance of these virtues, which needed for normative as well as instrumental reasons, i.e. as a way to restore trust. (shrink)
A compelling argument of how human health is adversely affected by our poor treatment of non-human animals. The author contents that in order to successfully confront the 21st Century's health challenges, we need to broaden the definition of the word 'public' in publichealth to include non-human animals.
Publichealth ethics in the future will be distinguished from publichealth ethics in the past by this new subfield being labeled as such, acknowledged, and called upon for service. Ethical dilemmas have been present throughout the history of publichealth. The question of whether to force Henning Jacobson to be immunized in 1905 in accordance with the 1902 Massachusetts smallpox vaccination law was one of ethics as well as law. How Thomas Parran, Surgeon (...) General in 1936, chose to respond to a raging syphilis epidemic in the United States in the early part of the 2W century raised considerable moral debate in determining the appropriate publichealth response for a government? More recently, questions have arisen concerning the appropriate reach of government in controlling HIV banning smoking, or promoting healthy lifestyles. Debates over government infringement, morality, and justice recur throughout the history of publichealth. (shrink)
The goal of improving publichealth involves the use of different tools, with the law being one way to influence the activities of institutions and individuals. Of the regulatory mechanisms afforded by law to achieve this end, criminal law remains a perennial mechanism to delimit the scope of individual and group conduct. However, criminal law may promote or hinder publichealth goals, and its use raises a number of complex questions that merit exploration. This examination of (...) the interface between criminal law and publichealth brings together international experts from a variety of disciplines, including law, criminology, publichealth, philosophy and health policy, in order to examine the theoretical and practical implications of using criminal law to improve publichealth. (shrink)
How ought we socially to categorize individuals with respect to sexual orientation? In this paper, I engage with philosophical work on the foundations of political solidarity as well as publichealth research on the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in order to develop a categorization scheme conducive to the normatively important aims of LGBTQIA+ social movements.
This book presents the first critical examination of the overlapping ethical, sociocultural, and policy-related issues surrounding disasters, global bioethics, and publichealth ethics. These issues are elucidated under the conceptual rubric: Publichealth disasters. The book defines PHDs as publichealth issues with devastating social consequences, the attendant publichealth impacts of natural or man-made disasters, and latent or low prevalence publichealth issues with the potential to rapidly acquire pandemic (...) capacities. This notion is illustrated using Ebola and pandemic influenza outbreaks, atypical drug-resistant tuberculosis, and the health emergencies of earthquakes as focal points. Drawing on an approach that reckons with microbial, existential, and anthropological realities; the book develops a relational-based global ethical framework that can help address the local, anthropological, ecological, and transnational dynamics of the ethical issues engendered by publichealth disasters. The book also charts some of the critical roles that relevant local and transnational stakeholders may play in translating the proposed global ethical framework from the sphere of concept to the arena of action. This title is of immense benefit to bioethics scholars, public and global health policy experts, as well as graduate students working in the area of global health, publichealth ethics, and disaster bioethics. (shrink)
Surveillance plays a crucial role in publichealth, and for obvious reasons conflicts with individual privacy. This paper argues that the predominant approach to the conflict is problematic, and then offers an alternative. It outlines a Basic Interests Approach to publichealth measures, and the Unreasonable Exercise Argument, which sets forth conditions under which individuals may justifiably exercise individual privacy claims that conflict with publichealth goals. The view articulated is compatible with a broad (...) range conceptions of the value of health. (shrink)
The paper addresses the question of how different types of evidence ought to inform publichealth policy. By analysing case studies on obesity, the paper draws lessons about the different roles that different types of evidence play in setting up publichealth policies. More specifically, it is argued that evidence of difference-making supports considerations about ‘what works for whom in what circumstances’, and that evidence of mechanisms provides information about the ‘causal pathways’ to intervene upon.
This paper defends a distinctly liberal approach to publichealth ethics and replies to possible objections. In particular, I look at a set of recent proposals aiming to revise and expand liberalism in light of publichealth's rationale and epidemiological findings. I argue that they fail to provide a sociologically informed version of liberalism. Instead, they rest on an implicit normative premise about the value of health, which I show to be invalid. I then make (...) explicit the unobvious, republican background of these proposals. Finally, I expand on the liberal understanding of freedom as non-interference and show its advantages over the republican alternative of freedom as non-domination within the context of publichealth. The views of freedom I discuss in the paper do not overlap with the classical distinction between negative and positive freedom. In addition, my account differentiates the concepts of freedom and autonomy and does not rule out substantive accounts of the latter. Nor does it confine political liberalism to an essentially procedural form. (shrink)
Successful publichealth interventions have, in recent decades, improved the health of the working classes in significant ways across much of the western world. Nevertheless, here, I argue that populist electoral breakthroughs over the last decade may be considered side-effects of ‘successful’ publichealth policies: crucially, the claim is that those political side-effects resulted because of—rather than despite—the health-measured success of those publichealth interventions.
This article proposes that, in line with moral-cosmopolitan theorists, affluent nations have an obligation, founded in justice and not merely altruism or beneficence, to share the responsibility of the burden of publichealth implementation in low-income contexts. The current Ebola epidemic highlights the fact that countries with under-developed health systems and limited resources cannot cope with a significant and sudden health threat. The link between burden of disease, adverse factors in the social environment and poverty is (...) well established and confirmed by the 2008 World Health Organization (WHO)’s Social Determinants of Health Commission report. Well-resourced nations generally consider that they have some humanitarian obligation to assist where possible, but this obligation is limited. The following questions are considered: Is reliance on the principle of beneficence to address the global disparities in the social determinants of health and life expectancy at birth good enough? Do well-resourced nations have some obligation from justice, which is stronger than from beneficence, and which cannot be as easily cast aside or diminished, to address these issues? In a globalised world, shaped by centuries of historical injustice and where first-world economies are now so intertwined and reliant on third-world labour, beneficence is not a strong enough principle on which to base an obligation to achieve the WHO vision of ‘health equity through action on the social determinants of health’. (shrink)
Publichealth ethics began to emerge in the 1990s as a development within bioethics. Publichealth ethics education has been implemented in schools of publichealth in recent years, and specific professionalism and ethics competencies were included in the Master of PublicHealth (MPH) competency set developed nationally and adapted by individual schools of publichealth around the country. The University of Texas School of PublicHealth approved the (...) present set of MPH competencies in 2005. After 4 years of experience, we now report information measuring the extent to which Professionalism and Ethics competencies and subcompetencies are being met in the MPH degree program. To this end we have audited the MPH Professionalism and Ethics competency forms for FY2009 MPH graduates (n = 61). Eight courses, including required MPH core courses plus the practicum and culminating experience, were found to have substantial professionalism and ethics content. Further, 67.2% of graduates met eight or more of the 13 competencies and subcompetencies, but only 36.1% met all thirteen, indicating a need to identify topic areas to be added to, or enhanced in, the MPH curriculum. In addition, these findings will inform ongoing efforts to enhance ethics education in our health science center. Assessment of these competencies and subcompetencies is an essential step in strengthening ethics education at our institutions and in better preparing our graduates for a challenging future. We report our efforts here to demonstrate one way of carrying out programmatic assessment of ethics education in a school of publichealth. (shrink)
Within the field of medical ethics, discussions related to publichealth have mainly concentrated on issues that are closely tied to research and practice involving technologies and professional services, including vaccination, screening, and insurance coverage. Broader determinants of population health have received less attention, although this situation is rapidly changing. Against this backdrop, our specific contribution to the literature on ethics and law vis-à-vis promoting population health is to open up the ubiquitous presence of pets within (...) cities and towns for further discussion. An expanding body of research suggests that pet animals are deeply relevant to people’s health (negatively and positively). Pet bylaws adopted by town and city councils have largely escaped notice, yet they are meaningful to consider in relation to everyday practices, social norms, and cultural values, and thus in relation to population health. Nevertheless, not least because they pivot on defining pets as private property belonging to individual people, pet bylaws raise emotionally charged ethical issues that have yet to be tackled in any of the health research on pet ownership. The literature in moral philosophy on animals is vast, and we do not claim to advance this field here. Rather, we pragmatically seek to reconcile philosophical objections to pet ownership with both animal welfare and publichealth. In doing so, we foreground theorizations of personhood and property from sociocultural anthropology. (shrink)