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The need for public health ethical principles - Assignment Example

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The world of public health lacks a reasonably explicit set of ethical guidelines or principles to control the actions of the people serving within the public health sector.Those opposed to public health having specific ethical principles argue that the field had not gained its identity …
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Download file to see previous pages The world of public health lacks a reasonably explicit set of ethical guidelines or principles to control the actions of the people serving within the public health sector.Those opposed to public health having specific ethical principles argue that the field had not gained its identity The lack of reasonably explicit set of ethical principles in public could be attributed in part to the broad diversity of professional identities found within the field of public health (Public Health Leadership Society, 2002).. Although public health physicians may draw upon medical ethics for guidance, there is a need for occupational groups central to public health, which are still evolving including nutritionists, biostatisticians, health system managers and epidemiologists among other to have specific to such areas in line with the activities undertaken. Professionals within the Public Health encounter different ethical dilemmas in the different areas of practice which may require specific ethical principles to assist or guide the practitioners in resolving such dilemmas (Public Health Leadership Society, 2002). This justifies the need for development of public health ethical principles to ensure that professionals carry out their roles in a ethically responsive manner. To achieve this, the sector needs to identify ethical issues applicable to the field and work towards providing reconcilable ethical principles capable of serving as guidelines within this area of practice. Most public health activities are targeted at providing certain services to the society or public and therefore, specific ethical principles should be coined from the expectations of the public and protection of the public interests. In conclusion, indeed public health needs a specific code of ethics despite arguments that public health lacks identity and coherence present in other professional fields such as medicine. Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health One of the 12 public health principles is the need to address the root cause of disease and health requirements with the main aim of preventing any possible adverse health outcomes. In this case, a public health officer dealing with the problem of teeth decay among children must identify contributing factors such as high concentration fluoride levels in drinking water and introduce ways or a program for water purification or provision of sealants to prevent further decay of teeth in the identified population. Therefore, the public officer dealing with this health problem has an obligation to discover the root cause of the increased tooth decay and offer amicable solution to the health problem (Public Health Leadership Society, 2002).. Another principle is the need for public health to drive community health improvement in a manner that upholds respect for individual’s rights. For example, in the process of implementing a community health promotion program or conducting an epidemiological study, there is a need to respect individual rights of participants such as right to informed consent, confidentiality and autonomy (Weed & McKeown, 2003).. As such, it would be unethical for a public health officer to conduct a research activity on some individuals within the community without inquiring about their willingness to participate in such studies or disseminating the research findings without taking into account confidentiality matters. The third public health principle demands the community participation in the development of public health policies, programs as well as setting of priorities in public health activities. This is particularly important in ensuring that the views of the people are taken into consideration through participation in the crafting of the policies or designing of programs (Ivanov & Blue, 2008). For example, dental health care policies ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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