Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Public Health Ethics-More Urgent Than Ever. (at the Center)

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Public Health Ethics-More Urgent Than Ever. (at the Center)

Article excerpt

Public Health Ethics--More Urgent than Ever. The tragic events of 11 September have altered our priorities and changed the context within which we work. Issues at the forefront last summer have been placed on the back burner, and new questions dominate the public agenda. This is as true for the work of The Hastings Center, and the field of bioethics as a whole, as it is for other areas of society.

Among these shifts is that public health, usually a field with a rather low profile in American consciousness, has come out of the shadows and into the limelight. For the past three or four years, several Center staff members have been giving increasing attention to various facets of public health and public health ethics. Daniel Callahan has been working with the school of public health at Harvard and with an ethics advisory group at the CDC; I have been teaching a course on ethics at the Yale School of Public Health. In the coming year, the Center will embark on a project on newborn screening. And for the past couple of years we have been working on a project to promote attention to ethical issues in public health and to develop an educational curriculum intended for use in formal degree and certificate programs and for in-service continuing education in public health agencies and related organizations. For this project, undertaken in collaboration with the Association of Schools of Public Health and with the support of the Health Research Services Administration and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we have assembled a team of ten leading public health ethicists to write and develop modules for a multifaceted curriculum that can be used in either the pre-service or the in-service setting. …

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