Values and ethics of health impact assessment

John Kemm

in Health Impact Assessment

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199656011
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748028 | DOI:
Values and ethics of health impact assessment

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There must be a clear distinction between ethics of the decision maker and ethics of the assessor. The decision maker should be bound by the same ethical rules as the citizen whereas the ethical duty of the assessor is to impartially provide the decision maker with the information they require to act ethically. The Gothenburg consensus document suggested four ethical principles democracy, equity, ethical use of evidence and sustainability. The assessor must provide the information on inequalities need to form judgements on equity but should leave those judgements to the decision maker. Equally they should spell out the long term consequences of decisions but leave the decision maker to decide how consequences occurring with different delays should be weighted. Other values that will affect the decision are utilitarianism, value for money and human rights. Sometimes the consequences of compensation arrangements need to be assessed alongside other aspects of the proposal.

Keywords: ethics; democracy; participation; equity; inequality; sustainability; ethical use of evidence; impartiality; advocacy; utiitarianism; value for money; human rights; performance standards; compensation

Chapter.  3804 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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