Ethical Issues in Public Health

C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the Unites States famously once said "Anything we can do to stop smoking is good." The course explores the meaning of this "anything" in public health practice. A guiding question will be "what are the ethical limits in protecting the public's health?"  While we won't be solving all the ethical issues that confronts practitioners, we will raise questions about ethical public health practice. This course explores these questions through the methods and principles of contemporary bioethics and the differences between public health ethics and medical ethics will be stressed. Some issues include the use of the State's police power; the meaning of ethical research; the limits of health promotion, including an ethical analysis of manipulation and coercion in the name of the public's health.  We will also address the ethics of public health emergencies; ethical questions in public health genetics; and public health concerns with social justice. A foundation of ethical theory will aid our explorations of ethical public health practice.  Critical reading, philosophical analysis and group discussion is emphasized. Open to students in the PHP, Worcester MPH, Online MPH Nutrition, MS/MPH, DNP or MS Nursing plans.

Course Details

Health Sciences
Public Health
Public Policy
HPP 525
Fall 2017
Registration Status: 
Monday, June 5, 2017 to Monday, September 18, 2017