Ethics in Public Health Surveillance

Charles M. Heilig and Patricia Sweeney

in Principles & Practice of Public Health Surveillance

Third edition

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195372922
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866090 | DOI:
 Ethics in Public Health Surveillance

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This chapter reflects on the ethical norms for public health surveillance. It presents pragmatic guidelines for ethical considerations in public health surveillance. The overall moral foundation set in public health is a collective effort to achieve a public good. This involves the government's fundamental duty to promote and protect the health of the public, which requires obtaining private health information about individuals. Defining the ethical limits on accumulating information about individuals in serving the common good requires careful consideration of both ethical principles and the duties of the public health agencies.

Keywords: ethics; bioethics; duty; privacy; guidelines; surveillance; public health agencies

Chapter.  8337 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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