Ethics And Public Health Ethics

851 Words4 Pages
There are important, distinguishable differences between medical ethics and public health ethics. Medical ethics pertain primarily to the individual that is involved in the care paradigm (Coleman, Bouësseau, Reis, & Capron, 2007). Public health ethics, by contrast, are focused primarily on the health of the population as a whole. The American Public Health Association has published its own code of public health ethics that it felt most appropriately provided guiding principles to the public health sector (Thomas, Sage, Dillenberg, & Guillory, 2002). Throughout the public health code of ethics, the emphasis is clearly and definitively focused on the word “community”. The connection between individuals interacting in the community is stressed to show the importance of individual health on the community as a whole. The public health code of ethics is focused more generally on the health care provided to communities and populations and does not focus directly on a specific professions interactions should be with a patient, but instead broadly stated what “public health” should do. In comparison, The AMA Code of Medical Ethics focuses specifically on what the physician should do (Riddick, 2003). Although the AMA Code of Medical Ethics directly mentions the need for a physician to recognize the importance of community and public health, as well as supporting access to all people, it also mentions that a physician should be able to choose freely who and where to practice and
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