Good epidemiology, good ethics: empirical and ethical dimensions of global public health

Christy A Rentmeester, Rajib Dasgupta

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2012.081


This paper examines the following ethically and epidemiologically relevant challenges, as yet neglected in public health ethics: how to distribute resources and health risks and benefits, how to define evidentiary criteria that justify public health interventions, and how to define terms in which programme goals, successes, and failures will be assessed and monitored. We illuminate critical intersections of empirical and ethical dimensions of public health work, drawing upon three global public health interventions—inclusion of the Hepatitis B vaccine in the Universal Immunisation Programme, Universal Salt Iodisation, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative—and suggest strategies for addressing and responding to them.

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