2017.0 Good decision making in real time: Public health ethics for health officials

Sunday, October 28, 2012: 2:30 PM - 6:00 PM
LI Course
CE Hours: 3 contact hours
Partnership: This Institute may be of interest to members of the APHA Ethics Special Interest Group, the APHA Health Law Section, and the Public Health Leadership Society
Statement of Purpose and Institute Overview: The purpose of this course is to provide public health professionals with tools and practical examples to address ethical challenges that commonly arise in the practice of public health. Public health officials regularly have to balance competing ethical and professional obligations (e.g., efficiently but fairly allocating scarce resources, respecting individual rights while safeguarding the public’s health, protecting underserved and marginalized communities while engaging and sharing information in a transparent manner, and ensuring data confidentiality and individual privacy while conducting surveillance). After introducing the basics of public health ethics, the workshop will engage participants in a discussion of case studies on issues that public health officials are likely to face. Developed in consultation with ethicists and public health directors, these cases will illustrate how to use ethics frameworks, such as the Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health, developed by the Public Health Leadership Society. The session will also explore the overlap between ethics and law. An outcome of the workshop will be the establishment of partnerships between public health officials and professionals with formal ethics and legal training.
Session Objectives: 1. Describe the complementary roles ethics and law play in public health decision making. 2. Analyze ethical issues in particular cases from public health practice. 3. Evaluate the ethical dimensions of alternative courses of action for a case or policy, including actions about which there is uncertainty regarding whether and when to use public health legal authority. 4. Examine specific ways to integrate ethical considerations in the day-to-day decision-making in public health departments.

Welcoming Remarks Welcome and introductory remarks about the format for the session Ruth Gaare Bernheim, JD MPH
Facilitated group discussion of a public health ethics case This session will be used to demonstrate the process of case analysis by having the group as a whole consider a public health ethics case. A facilitator will guide this discussion of the case.
Facilitated small group discussion of a public health ethics case The group will break into 5 small groups of 10 each; each table will conduct a case analysis of a public health ethics case. This session will give participants hands on experience with analyzing and applying ethical frameworks for a case they are likely to encounter in their public health practice. There will be a facilitator for each table.
Report from the small group discussions This session will involve participants sharing their reactions to the cases addressed in the small groups. This will allow group sharing about the various cases and approaches used to address the ethical dilemmas presented in the cases. This will provide an additional learning opportunity for consideration of how to address ethical issues in public health practice.
Concluding Remarks This session will be used to summarize the information presented during the overall session and to provide some practical tips for how participants can implement the tools presented during the session once they return to the their public health practices. Ruth Gaare Bernheim, JD MPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Learning Institute (APHA-LI)
Endorsed by: Law, Women's Caucus

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)