Assignment 1: Discussion—Public Health Ethics

Public health practice involves working with issues of illnesses and diseases of populations. Because of this, unique ethical issues are involved. Generally, public health practices and policies try to improve the overall health of the public; this position often conflicts with the principle of autonomy for individuals. This conflict might be clinical, as in the case of immunization, or legal, as in the case of required medical reporting and treatment of communicable diseases. Furthermore, public health involves recognizing health and illness in the wider context of social, environmental, political, and economic factors, while ensuring that the ethical principles are not violated.

Considering this, respond to the following:

  • What are the features that distinguish public health ethics from conventional medical ethics or bioethics?
  • Are ethical principles and values, or the methods of ethical analysis, materially different when applied to populations rather than to individuals?

Give examples and reasons in support of your responses.

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Support your answers with examples and research. Your responses should clarify your understanding of the topic. They should be your own, original, and free from plagiarism. Follow the APA format for writing style, spelling and grammar, and citation of sources.