232208 Public health consequences of corporate malfeasance: An overview

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP , School of Community Health, Portland State University, Lake Oswego, OR
This session will serve as the introduction to a series of talks on the role of corporations in public health. As moderator, I will introduce the topic of corporations, discuss their nature and goals, identify the reasons for relatively low corporate tax rates, and explain the differences between corporate crime and "street crime." I will discuss the consequences of the last few decades of increasing corporatization on the national and global economy and on labor. I will describe how corporations corrupt the educational system, aggressively lobby elected officials, hide behind corporate front groups, and use aggressive legal tactics to subvert the will of the people and in turn damage public health. I will briefly note a few specific examples, then offer some guidelines for public health professionals on how to combat the maleficent influence of corporations on public health. This talk will be an abridged version of the talk found on the website http://www.publichealthandsocialjustice.org on the "Activism and Education" page. A reference article can be found at http://phsj.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/Combating-corporate-control-of-education-media-legislation-and-health-care-Z-Magazine1.doc.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to: Describe the nature and goals of corporations. Identify the reasons for low corporate taxes. Explain the differences between corporate ("white collar") and street ("blue collar" crime. Discuss the consequences of corporatization for the economy and for public education. List a few examples of how corporate activities adversely affect public health. Describe a few ways in which public health advocates can fight corporate power.

Keywords: Public Health, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I teach, write, and lecture frequently on the role of corporations in public health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.