Public health ethics in the education and training of our public health workforce
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Public Health Association of Australia Australia
European Public Health Association, United Kingdom
American Public Health Affiliation, United States
Maastricht University Netherlands
World Federation of Public Health Associations Public Health Association of Australia Australia
World Federation of Public Health Associations La Trobe University United Kingdom
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A744
Whilst the idea of the need for an ethical approach to public health practice has been around for many years, over the last 20 years there has been a specific body of work directed at identifying and defining the scope of ethical public health and getting it into practice, which is the focus of other workshops on the program. As public health is concerned with the health of whole populations and ecosystems, rather than individuals, the conventionally described pillars of clinical ethics – autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice – do not align with public health practice, because of the communitarian nature of public health. Public health is concerned with populations and communities and not individuals, and with wide range issue such as disease prevention and health protection (such as screening and pandemic preparedness), risk identification and harm reduction (such as smoking and seatbelt use), and environmental protection (such as overuse of antibiotics and climate change). As a discipline it is considered as “science of social justice” and well placed to advocate for equity of access to safe health care and therapeutics, and for policy decisions which affect the health of whole populations in both health care and other areas which of direct concern to social determinates aspects of life, such as safe and secure housing, equal education, access to employment, safe food, clean air and water, not just for now but into the future. Therefore, it is time that Public Health Ethics are incorporated into every-day public health work, taught in schools of public health, and made the business of the whole public health workforce. In this workshop we will build on the content of other related public health ethics in practice workshops to consider how to embed public health ethics into public health curricula.

Aims and objectives:
The aim of this workshop is to outline the current work being undertaken to define public health ethics, to identify ways in which public health ethics can be incorporated into public health education and training. In particular, the three objectives of this workshop are to Identify the behaviours that constitute public health ethics Consider what competencies for public health ethics might inform public health education curricula, beyond merely “using codes of ethical practice” as a core competency Prioritise what public health ethics content should be taught in public health curricula

Panel discussion to set the scene and provide an outline of current work in this space (15mins) Participants break into groups, each to discuss one of the three objectives, and work through provided case scenarios on each topic, illustrating how public health ethics might be embedded in public health competency frameworks and curricula (30mins) Report back to larger group (15mins)

Key questions:
How can public health ethics content be taught in public health education and training programs AND What public health ethics teaching and learning resources need to be developed to support public health educators?

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