Ethical Issues in Public Health

HPP 525

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.

Fall 2019


Base cost: $1866 ($622/credit)
Term Fee: $47
Class Fee: $
Materials fee may apply. See SPIRE for details
  • Start date: September 3, 2019
  • End date: December 11, 2019
  • Last day to add: September 16, 2019
  • Last day to drop: September 16, 2019
  • Last day to withdraw: October 29, 2019
  • 100% through last day to add
  • 50% through last day to withdraw
  • 0% after last day to withdraw
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