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Ethical Issues in Public Health

East Baltimore
2nd Term
Health Policy and Management
Academic Year
2023 - 2024
Instruction Method
Class Time(s)
Tuesday, 3:30 - 6:20pm
Auditors Allowed
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year
The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was called a “moral failure.” The former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has been called a “finger-wagging nanny” because of his public health efforts, such as attempting to ban the sale of some large sugary drinks. What do these claims mean? What are the ethical values and the assumptions about public health underlying claims like these? This course examines these ethical questions and others, as they bear on a range of topics in public health.
Provides an introduction to ethical issues in public health. Considers how the pursuit of public health can come into conflict with important values and ethical concerns, such as individual autonomy, privacy, and social justice. Considers the ethical values and moral imperatives that underlie and support public health efforts, and the ethics of a range of public health programs and public health policies, across multiple different public health issues, including obesity prevention, tobacco control, childhood vaccination efforts, and other topics.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and consider ethical issues relevant to public health efforts
  2. Articulate moral arguments for or against different kinds of public health programs and policies
  3. Use ethical skills to interpret ethical debates about current public health issues
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 50% Written Assignment(s)
  • 50% Final Paper