Looking Ahead: Addressing Ethical Challenges in Public Health Practice

Baum, N. M., Gollust, S. E., Goold, S. D., & Jacobson, P. D. (2007). Looking ahead: Addressing ethical challenges in public health practice. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 35(4), 657–513. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-720X.2007.00188.x

Journal article


This analytic framework is designed to help practitioners and policy-makers identify and address ethical challenges in public health. Incorporating the moral principles that guide public health practice, the framework helps decision-makers as they try to determine what public health actions are ethically justifiable.

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The framework guides users through six elements:

  1. Population-level utility
  2. Evidence of need and effectiveness
  3. Justice/fairness
  4. Accountability
  5. Costs/efficiencies
  6. Political feasibility

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

We have provided the resources and links as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by McMaster University of any of the products, services or opinions of the external organizations, nor have the external organizations endorsed their resources and links as provided by McMaster University. McMaster University bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external sites.

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