As threats of infectious disease grow and the nation confronts chronic health problems such as diabetes and obesity, health professionals, citizens, and community stakeholders must address increasingly complex ethical conflicts about public health policies and practices.
Essentials of Public Health Ethics introduces students to the field of public health ethics, by focusing on cases. Topics span the discipline of public health and integrate materials, concepts, and frameworks from numerous fields in public health, such as health promotion, environmental health and health policy. By delving into both historical and contemporary cases, including international cases, the authors investigate the evolution and impact of various understandings of the concept of "the public" over time, i.e., the public not only as a numerical population that can be defined and measured, but also as a political group with legally defined obligations and relationships, as well as diverse cultural and moral understandings.
While the text examines a range of philosophical theories and contemporary perspectives, it is written in a way that presupposes no previous exposure to the philosophical concepts but at the same time provides challenging cases for students who do have more advanced knowledge. Thus the book should be useful in Schools and Programs in Public Health as well as for undergraduate public health courses in liberal arts institutions and for health sciences students at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.
Director, Division of Public Health Policy & Practice, School of Public Health, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia Hollingsworth Professor of Ethics, Institute of Practical Ethics and Public Health, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia Harrison Foundation Professor of Law and Medicine, University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia