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Public Health Ethics [Paperback]

Stephen Holland


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Book Description

Sept. 17 2007 074563303X 978-0745633039 1
How far should we go in protecting and promoting public health? Can we force people to give up unhealthy habits and make healthier choices, or does everyone have the right to decide their own lifestyle? Should we stop treating smokers who refuse to give up smoking? Should we put a tax on fatty foods and ban vending machines in schools to address the obesity epidemic? Should parents be required to have their children vaccinated? Are some of our screening programmes unethical Downs syndrome screening, for example or should we be screening people for more conditions, such as Huntington disease?

Such questions are at the heart of public health ethics. Holland shows that to understand and debate these issues requires philosophy: moral philosophies, such as utilitarianism and deontology, as well as political philosophies such as liberalism and communitarianism. And philosophy informs other aspects of public health, such as epidemiology and health promotion.


The aim of this book is to provide a lively, accessible and philosophically informed introduction to such issues. It is an ideal textbook for students taking courses in public health ethics. And since this book develops systematic discussions of issues in public health ethics, there is also much here to engage and challenge the more advanced reader.

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Review

"Ranging from the theoretical to the pragmatic, Holland provides a foundational overview of public health ethics that equips the reader with the tools that will inform further deliberation about the subject. This text is particularly helpful as a theoretical introduction to a reader looking for an elucidation of relevant facets of public health ethics."
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

"Stephen Holland's book is an important milestone in the emerging field of public health ethics. It has a rich population-based perspective, demonstrating the foundational importance of safeguarding the public¹s health. His analysis is rigorous and systematic, applying the major theories in moral and political philosophy to the public health enterprise. By explaining the major forms of public health interventions, Professor Holland shows the sometimes irreconcilable tensions between individual interests and the common good. This book will inform scholars in multiple fields, including philosophy, law, epidemiology, medicine, and nursing."

Lawrence O. Gostin, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center

"Stephen Holland's book is a magnificent achievement. It is the first book-length single-authored work on public health ethics. It proves to be both a careful and rich introduction to the issues, as well as a coherent and sophisticated argument about the nature of public health ethics. Holland summarises and critically engages with many different fields relevant to public health. This book will be essential reading for everyone from specialists in the field to public health practitioners with no prior experience of ethics and philosophy."

Angus Dawson, Centre for Professional Ethics, Keele University

"Ranging from the theoretical to the pragmatic, Holland provides a foundational overview of public health ethics that equips the reader with the tools that will inform further deliberation about the subject. This text is particularly helpful as a theoretical introduction to a reader looking for an elucidation of relevant facets of public health ethics."
Sally Bean, Joint Centre for Bioethics and Trillium Health Centre, University of Toronto

From the Back Cover

How far should we go in protecting and promoting public health? Can we force people to give up unhealthy habits and make healthier choices, or does everyone have the right to decide their own lifestyle? Should we stop treating smokers who refuse to give up smoking? Should we put a tax on fatty foods and ban vending machines in schools to address the obesity epidemic? Should parents be required to have their children vaccinated? Are some of our screening programmes unethical Downs syndrome screening, for example or should we be screening people for more conditions, such as Huntington disease?

Such questions are at the heart of public health ethics. Holland shows that to understand and debate these issues requires philosophy: moral philosophies, such as utilitarianism and deontology, as well as political philosophies such as liberalism and communitarianism. And philosophy informs other aspects of public health, such as epidemiology and health promotion.

The aim of this book is to provide a lively, accessible and philosophically informed introduction to such issues. It is an ideal textbook for students taking courses in public health ethics. And since this book develops systematic discussions of issues in public health ethics, there is also much here to engage and challenge the more advanced reader.


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