Course: Ethical Issues in Public Health

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Session Topic Readings


Ethics: Theory and Practice

Beauchamp, T. and Walters, L. Contemporary Issues in Bioethics, 6 th Edition. CA: Wadsworth Publishers. 2003. Chapter 1, pp. 1-37.

Gostin L. "Public Health Law, Ethics, and Human Rights: Mapping the Issues." In Gostin L. (ed) Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader. University of California Press. 2002. pp 10-15 (excerpt on public health ethics).

Recommended :
Macklin, R. Against Relativism. NY: Oxford University Press. 1999. Chapter 1, pp. 1-23.

Little, MO. "Why a Feminist Approach to Bioethics?" Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 6(1): 1-18.

Christakis, N. "The Distinction Between Ethical Pluralism and Ethical Relativism: Implications for the Conduct of Trans-cultural Research" in Vanderpool, H., Ed. The Ethics of Research Involving Human Subjects. MD: University Publishing Group Inc. 1996. Chapter 11. pp:261-280.


Public Health Ethics

American Public Health Association. Principles for the Ethical Practice of Public Health. New Orleans: Public Health Leadership Society. 2003.

Kass, N. "Toward an Ethics of Public Health."American Journal of Public Health. 91(11): 1776-1782. 2001.

Childress, J., Faden, R., Gaare, R., Gostin, L., Kahn, J., Bonnie, R., Kass, N., Mastroianni, A., Moreno, J., Nieburg, P. "Public Health Ethics: Mapping the Terrain." Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. 30(2): 170-8. 2002.

Norman Daniels and James E. Sabin. "Accountability for Reasonableness", Chapter 4. In: Setting Limits Fairly. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Faden, R., Kass, N., and Powers, M. "Warrants for Screening Programs: Public Health, Legal and Ethical Frameworks" in Faden, R., Geller, G., and Powers, M., Eds. AIDS, Women and the Next Generation: Towards a Morally Acceptable Public Policy for HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Newborns. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1991. Chapter 1: pp: 3-26.

Beauchamp, D. "Community: The Neglected Tradition of Public Health. "Hastings Center Report. 15(6):28-36. 1985.

Mann, J. "Medicine and Public Health, Ethics, and Human Rights." Hastings Center Report. 27(3)6-13. 1997.

O'Neill, O. "Public Health or Clinical Ethics: Thinking Beyond Borders." Ethics and International Affairs. 16(2): 35-45. 2002.


Social Justice and the Right to Health Care

Daniels, Norman. "Justice, Health, and Health Care." In: Medicine and Social Justice. Rosamond Rhodes, Margaret P. Battin, and Anita Silvers, eds. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 6-24. 2002.

Hessler, Kristen. And Allen Buchanan. "Specifying the Content of the Human Right to Health Care." In: Medicine and Social Justice. Rosamond Rhodes, Margaret P. Battin, and Anita Silvers, eds. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. pp. 84-96.

Beauchamp, T., and Childress, J. Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 5 th edition. NY: Oxford University Press. 2001. Chapter 6. pp.225-282.

Beauchamp , DE . "Public Health as Social Justice." Inquiry 13(1): 3-14. 1976.


Autonomy, Civil Liberties, and Public Health

Bayer R & Moreno J. "Health promotion: ethical and social dilemmas of government policy." Health Aff (Millwood). 1986 Summer;5(2):72-85

Faden RR, Faden AI. "The ethics of health education as public health policy." Health Educ Monogr. 1978 Summer; 6(2):180‑97.

Kersh R. and Morone J. "The Politics of Obesity: Seven Steps to Government Action." Health Affairs. 21(6): 142-153.


Influenza Group Project

Stand on Guard for Thee: Ethical Considerations in Preparedness Planning for Pandemic Influenza. A Report of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics Pandemic Influenza Working Group. November, 2005.



The Ethics of Measuring Health

Gold MR, Stevenson D, Fryback DG. "HALYs and QALYs and DALYs, Oh My: Similarities and Differences in Summary Measures of Population Health." Annu Rev Public Health , 23:115-34. 2002.

Brock DW. "Ethical Issues in the Use of Cost Effectiveness Analysis for the Prioritization of Health Resources." In Handbook of Bioethics: Taking Stock of the Field from a Philosophical Perspective, George Khushf (ed). Springer-Verlag Telos (March, 2004).

Recommended :
Murray CJL, Salomon JA, Mathers CD. "A Critical Examination of Summary Measures of Population Health." In Summary Measures of Population Health: Concepts, Ethics, Measurement and Applications. Christopher Murray, Joshua Salomon, Colin Mathers, & Alan Lopez (eds). World Health Organization. 2002.


Poverty, Power, and Health Inequalities (PART I)

Gwatkin DR. "Health inequalities and the health of the poor: what do we know? What can we do?" Bull World Health Organ. 2000; 78(1):318.

Pogge T. "Responsibilities for poverty-related ill health." Ethics Int Aff, 2002; 16(2)71-9.

Nagel, T. "Equality" in Mortal Questions. Cambridge University Press; Reissue edition (May 2, 1991). Chapter 8, pp 106-128.


Poverty, Power, and Health Inequalities (PART II)

Powers, M. and Faden R. "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care: An Ethical Analysis of When and How They Matter." In: Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. 2002. IOM Report.

Singer P. One World: The Ethics of Globalisation. Chapters 1 & 5. 2002.

Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Executive Summary. Institute of Medicine. 2002.