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Principles & Practice of Public Health Surveillance$
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Lisa M. Lee, Steven M. Teutsch, Stephen B. Thacker, and Michael E. St. Louis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372922

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372922.001.0001

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Ethics in Public Health Surveillance

Ethics in Public Health Surveillance

Chapter:
(p.198) 9 Ethics in Public Health Surveillance
Source:
Principles & Practice of Public Health Surveillance
Author(s):

Charles M. Heilig

Patricia Sweeney

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372922.003.0009

This chapter reflects on the ethical norms for public health surveillance. It presents pragmatic guidelines for ethical considerations in public health surveillance. The overall moral foundation set in public health is a collective effort to achieve a public good. This involves the government's fundamental duty to promote and protect the health of the public, which requires obtaining private health information about individuals. Defining the ethical limits on accumulating information about individuals in serving the common good requires careful consideration of both ethical principles and the duties of the public health agencies.

Keywords:   ethics, bioethics, duty, privacy, guidelines, surveillance, public health agencies

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