The purpose of this course is to demonstrate the many respects in which public health actions and policies have ethical dimensions. The course will address topics in both public health practice and public health research. Topics in public health practice include an exploration of governmental paternalism and when is justified, such as laws mandating the use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets; justifications for limiting individual liberty that arise in infectious disease practices like isolation, quarantine, and directly observed therapy; ethical problems in allocating limited resources in outbreaks or epidemics. Topics in public health research include circumstances in which it is necessary to obtain informed consent and when it is not; ethical issues in conducting research in disasters and emergencies; when privacy and confidentiality may be breached in the interest of public health.
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor