The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5035.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 8:50 AM

Abstract #67520

Informing Practice: Smallpox Vaccination Process Through the Lense of the Public Health Code of Ethics

Alan Melnick, MD, MPH1, Kathy Vincent2, Clayton Williams, MPH3, V. James Guillory, DO, MPH4, James C. Thomas, MPH, PhD5, Beth Quill, MPH6, and Magdelena Merrill, MPH3. (1) Family Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, (503) 494-0756,, (2) Alabama Department of Public Health, The RSA Tower, Suite 1552, P. O. Box 303017, Montgomery, AL 36130, (3) Public Health Leadership Society, 1600 Canal Street, Suite 501, New Orleans, LA 70112, (4) Departments of Preventive Medicine and Family Medicine, University of Health Sciences, 1750 Independence Ave, Kansas City, MO 64106-1453, (5) School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Department of Epidemiology, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, (6) School of Public Health, University of Texas-Houston, Center for Excellence in Public Health Practice, 1200 Herman Pressler Suite W236, Houston, TX 77030

In response to the absence of an explicit set of ethical guidelines for organizations charged with assuring the health of the public, the Public Health Leadership Society (PHLS), with considerable input from the broader public health community, developed 12 Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health (also referred to as the Code). The crux of public health ethics is captured by the balance that must be maintained between the exercise of power to ensure health, and the necessity of avoiding potential abuses of power. Given recent events, society is increasingly demanding explicit attention to ethics. Using the framework of the 12 Ethical Principles, this presentation raises the ethical issues around bio-terrorism preparation in public health, using smallpox vaccination planning and implementation as a case study. The intention here is not to critique the process; rather, the goal is to raise the level of debate around the issues and highlight lessons learned that may inform future practice.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Bioterrorism, Ethics

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Legal and Ethical Aspects of Smallpox Vaccination

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA