atlanta Essay

475 WordsApr 1, 20092 Pages
At the heart of nursing there is the desire to be a keen and practical professional, balanced with the most human of emotions and sincerity. Ethics guide our thoughts and the way we handle individual situations. In public health an ethical dilemma can be as simple as providing birth control to a teenager or as complicated as containing the spread of infectious disease. Problems arise when the line between what is right and wrong becomes obscured. Ethics and ethical decision making skills are utilized to assist professionals when making these difficult decisions. Ethics is often defined as “the rules or standards governing the conduct of a person ("Ethics", 2008).” Patricia Zander (2007) describes ethics “as being concerned with choosing, justifying, and judging actions involving moral duty, rights, and obligations” (p. 8). Ethics in public health in my opinion is defined as the principles and values that motivate actions intended to promote health and prevent injury and disease in a population. Review of the Literature According to the World Health Organization (2008) “public health ethics focuses on the design and implementation of measures to monitor and improve the health of populations” (p. 577). Additionally, “public health ethics looks beyond health care to consider the structural conditions that promote or inhibit the development of healthy societies” (p. 577). From a more universal perspective public health looks at “disparities in health status,” “responding to the threat of infectious diseases,” “international cooperation in health monitoring and surveillance,” “exploitation of individuals in low-income countries,” and “health promotion.” The fundamental ethical dilemma in public health is “to balance respect for individual freedom and liberty with the responsibility of governments to provide their citizens with some degree of protection in

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