Public Health - ethical issues

image of Public Health - ethical issues

The Nordic Committee on Bioethics organised a conference in Reykjavik in August 2010 to discuss ethical issues relating to public health. The speakers of the conference have contributed to this book, which offers wide multidisciplinary perspectives on themes around Individual Freedom and Public Health, Health Responsibility and Life Style, and Social Equality and Justice.



The Ethics of Infection Control

Infection control measures inevitably affect the freedom and selfdetermination of individuals and groups of people. Such measures are justified because of their benefit to public health, not necessarily for the benefit of individual patients. The ethics of infection control therefore emphasises justice with special focus on community values and the common good, whereas clinical ethics underscores patient autonomy (Bryan et al., 2007). Bioethics includes clinical ethics (euthanasia, genetics, stem-cell research etc.). Although infectious disease should be recognised as a topic of primary importance for bioethics, the general topic of infectious disease has received relatively little attention from the discipline of bioethics (Selgelid 2005).


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