1.3 Philosophy and Ethics in Public Health

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss the philosophical justifications for public health.
  • Discuss the essential moral considerations for public health.
  • Discuss the justifications for overriding interests such as freedom of action, privacy, and confidentiality in order to achieve public health goals.
  • Explain the key questions that should be addressed when analyzing an ethical issue in public health.
  • Define the “police power” and discuss the major precedents set by the case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts.

Developed by Wayne W. LaMorte, MD, PhD, MPH, Assistant Dean for Education, Boston University School of Public Health.