Skip to content

    Read more about Public Health Ethics: Global Cases, Practice, and Context

    Public Health Ethics: Global Cases, Practice, and Context

    (13 reviews)

    Drue H. Barrett, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Angus Dawson, The University of Sydney

    Leonard W. Ortmann, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Copyright Year:

    ISBN 13: 9783319238470

    Publisher: Springer

    Language: English

    Formats Available

    Conditions of Use

    Attribution-NonCommercial Attribution-NonCommercial
    CC BY-NC


    Learn more about reviews.

    Reviewed by Abigail Abram, Adjunct Faculty, University of Indianapolis on 4/2/21

    The book is comprehensive, given the topics covered. The first chapter sets the foundation for the rest of the book, defining terms and topics in detail. These definitions and distinctions prove crucial to the rest of the text. Additionally,... read more

    Reviewed by NANCY NADEAU, Clinical Associate Profession, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on 11/17/20

    It is very important to read Chapter 1 as it sets the foundation to be able to enjoy all the case studies. Definitions are clear and a few tables help the readers to grasp and better comprehend those concepts such as clinical ethics and public... read more

    Reviewed by Robert Wahl, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University on 11/22/19

    This textbook contains chapters for each public health area. Most of the areas are more-than-adequately covered, from newborn blood spots to fluoridation of drinking water and everything in between. The one exception is with the Environmental and... read more

    Reviewed by Lauren Maziarz, Assistant Professor, Bowling Green State University on 11/18/19

    This textbook is quite comprehensive, as it includes overviews, case studies, and discussion questions for many common public health topics. Areas of this text could be used for environmental health discussions, social justice, disease prevention,... read more

    Reviewed by Rachel Ellison, Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette on 11/11/19

    The didactic content covers all areas of public health ethics that are new to many. The ideas in the book are relevant to the case studies and vice versa. it is well-rounded book. The course index is clear and effective. The book has no... read more

    Reviewed by Carol Foust, Professor, Colorado State University - Pueblo on 10/28/19

    Provides a very good overview of the topics and has a decent index although there is no glossary. Only area missing that I would have liked to see is more on the politics of public health e.g. public health and the economy, healthcare, the free... read more

    Reviewed by Patricia Krauskopf, Professor, Shenandoah University on 7/26/19

    The book has nine chapters and covers an introduction to public health ethics in the first two chapters including a review of frameworks and providing essential cases in the development of public health ethics. Then the final seven chapters... read more

    Reviewed by Deb Merrigan, Instructor, Century College on 6/5/19

    This textbook covers many broad areas of ethical issues and dilemmas surrounding public health. While no glossary is provided, the index holds a wide selection of topics covered and where they can be found within the book. read more

    Reviewed by Emmanuel Clottey, Associate Professor, Louisiana State University Shreveport on 4/9/19, updated 5/6/19

    I find the text very comprehensive. Section I gives an introduction to public health ethics for those who may be new to the subject. This is good because it gives the student an understanding of public health ethics even if they did not have any... read more

    Reviewed by Soumyadeep Mukherjee, Assistant Professor, Rhode Island College on 11/28/18

    I thought that this book navigates a challenging and often "vague" subject of Public Health ethics rather well. At the very outset, it lays out why the intersection of public health and ethics can be a slippery slope. The author also emphasizes... read more

    Reviewed by Rebecca Heick, Visiting Assistant Professor, Augustana College on 11/16/18

    While the text does a nice job of covering a great diversity of cases, there are some gaps in content that are important to note. The text does not provide case examples that highlight genetics (a key field that will continue to gain importance in... read more

    Reviewed by Benjamin Silverberg, Assistant Professor/Clinician, West Virginia University on 5/21/18

    As mentioned in the introduction (and, of course, the title), the text's focus on cases. Thus, it is sometimes a little lacking in detailing a theoretical approach to ethics (despite a well-written first chapter and introductory blocks in most... read more

    Reviewed by Angela Weisbrod, Adjunct Professor of Nursing, Winona State University on 5/21/18

    The text is extremely comprehensive covering pertinent issues both in the US and around the Globe read more

    Table of Contents

    Section I Introduction to Public Health Ethics

    • 1 Public Health Ethics: Global Cases, Practice, and Context
    • 2 Essential Cases in the Development of Public Health Ethics

    Section II Topics in Public Health Ethics

    • 3 Resource Allocation and Priority Setting
    • 4 Disease Prevention and Control
    • 5 Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
    • 6 Environmental and Occupational Public Health
    • 7 Vulnerability and Marginalized Populations
    • 8 International Collaboration for Global Public Health
    • 9 Public Health Research


    Ancillary Material

    Submit ancillary resource

    About the Book

    Introducing public health ethics poses two special challenges. First, it is a relatively new field that combines public health and practical ethics. Its unfamiliarity requires considerable explanation, yet its scope and emergent qualities make delineation difficult. Moreover, while the early development of public health ethics occurred in a western context, its reach, like public health itself, has become global. A second challenge, then, is to articulate an approach specific enough to provide clear guidance yet sufficiently flexible and encompassing to adapt to global contexts. Broadly speaking, public health ethics helps guide practical decisions affecting population or community health based on scientific evidence and in accordance with accepted values and standards of right and wrong. In these ways, public health ethics builds on its parent disciplines of public health and ethics. This dual inheritance plays out in the definition the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers of public health ethics: “A systematic process to clarify, prioritize, and justify possible courses of public health action based on ethical principles, values and beliefs of stakeholders, and scientific and other information” (CDC 2011). Public health ethics shares with other fields of practical and professional ethics both the general theories of ethics and a common store of ethical principles, values, and beliefs. It differs from these other fields largely in the nature of challenges that public health officials typically encounter and in the ethical frameworks it employs to address these challenges. Frameworks provide methodical approaches or procedures that tailor general ethical theories, principles, values, and beliefs to the specific ethical challenges that arise in a particular field. Although no framework is definitive, many are useful, and some are especially effective in particular contexts. This chapter will conclude by setting forth a straightforward, stepwise ethics framework that provides a tool for analyzing the cases in this volume and, more importantly, one that public health practitioners have found useful in a range of contexts. For a public health practitioner, knowing how to employ an ethics framework to address a range of ethical challenges in public health—a know-how that depends on practice—is the ultimate take-home message.

    About the Contributors


    Drue H. Barrett Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA, USA

    Angus Dawson Center for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, Sydney School of Public Health. The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 

    Leonard W. Ortmann Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA 

    Contribute to this Page

    Suggest an edit to this book record