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Course #306.655 Hygiene W3030
3rd Term, 1/28/02-3/11/02 Mondays: 1:30-4:20
Instructor: Ruth Faden, Ph.D., M.P.H.
E-mail: rfaden@jhsph.edu
Office Hours: By appointment only, HH 352
TA: Julia Slutsman
Office Hours: M 4:30-5:30, HH349
E-mail: jslutsma@jhsph.edu
TA: Carol Moeller
Office Hours: M 4:30-5:30, HH349
E-mail: cmoeller@jhsph.edu


  • Identify and define ethical issues in the context of public health practice.
  • Analyze moral problems.

TEXT: Readings Packet, to be purchased at bookstore.


Session 1 What is Public Health Ethics?
Case: Female Genital Mutilation
Session 2 Autonomy, Civil Liberties, and Public Health
Case: Immunization
Session 3 Introduction to Justice
Case: Heart Disease
Session 4 Bioterrorism Task Force Simulation
Group Project Due
Case Description for Final Paper Due
Session 5 The Sensitivity of Ethical Analysis to Facts
Case: Mandatory HIV Screening for Women in Labor
Session 6 Health Inequalities and Justice
Case: Inequalities and Resource Allocation
First Draft of Final Paper Due
Session 7 Public Health Ethics and Bioterrorism 3/11/02
  Final Paper Due 3/15/02


Participation and Attendance:
Bioterrorism Task Force Simulation Group Project: 35%
Final Paper: 50%

The bioterrorism task force simulation group project will consist of an analysis of the bioterrorism case study handed out at the start of class. Each group will work to identify the ethical issues involved and to recommend and justify a course of action on ethical grounds.

The final exam will consist of an analysis of an original case study. Students will prepare a case study that reflects an ethical dilemma encountered in the course of their public health career. In their analysis of the case, students will be expected to describe the ethical issues involved, propose 2 or 3 options available to the moral agents involved in the case, and to defend a position in favor of a particular approach on ethical grounds.

All readings will be on reserve in the Hampton House Lillienfeld Library.

Readings for Session 1

Beauchamp, T. and Walters, L. Contemporary Issues in Bioethics, 5th Edition. CA: Wadsworth Publishers. 1999. Chapter 1, pp. 1-32.

Kass, N. “Toward an Ethics of Public Health.” American Journal of Public Health. 91(11)1776-1782. 2001.

Mann, Jonathan. “Medicine and Public Health, Ethics, and Human Rights.” Hastings Center Report. 27(3)6-13. 1997.

Recommended Readings:
Beauchamp, Dan. “Community: The Neglected Tradition of Public Health.” Hastings Center Report. 15(6):28-36. 1985.

Christakis, N. “The Distinction Between Ethical Pluralism and Ethical Relativism: Implications for the Conduct of Trans-cultural Research” in Vanderpool, H., Ed. The Ethics of Research Involving Human Subjects. MD: University Publishing Group Inc. 1996. Chapter 11. pp:261-280.

Readings for Session 2

Childress, J. “The Place of Autonomy in Bioethics.” Hastings Center Report 20(1)12-17. 1990.

Sherwin, S. “A Relational Approach to Autonomy in Health Care,” in the Feminist Health Care Ethics Research Network, The Politics of Women’s Health: Exploring Agency and Autonomy (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University Press, 1998), pp.34-39.

Faden RR, Faden AI. "The ethics of health education as public health policy." Health Educ Monogr. 1978 Summer;6(2):180-97.

Readings for Session 3

Beauchamp, T., and Childress, J. Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 5th edition. NY: Oxford University Press. 2001. Chapter 6.pp.225-282.

Singer, P. “The Singer Solution to World Poverty.” The New York Times Magazine. September 5, 1999. pp.60-63.

Readings for Session 4


Readings for Session 5

Faden, R., Geller, G., and Powers, M., Eds. AIDS, Women and the Next Generation: Towards a Morally Acceptable Public Policy for HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Newborns. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1991. Chapters 1 and 10.

Chapter 1: Faden, R., Kass, N., and Powers, M.. “Warrants for Screening Programs: Public Health, Legal and Ethical Frameworks.” pp:3-26.

Institute of Medicine. Reducing the Odds: Preventing Peri-natal Transmission of HIV in the United States. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. 1999. Executive Summary. pp:1999 1-14.

Wade, Nancy. “Abbreviated Regimen of Zidovudine Prophylaxis and Peri-natal Transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.” NEJM. 339(20)1409-1414. 1998.

Readings for Session 6

Kawachi, I., Wilkinson, RG, and Kennedy, BP. Introduction, in Kawachi, I., Kennedy, BP, and Wilkinson, RG, eds., The Society and Population Health Reader: Income Inequality and Health. New York: The New Press. 1999, pp.xi-xxxiv. ISBN 1565845714.

Gwatkin DR. "Health inequalities and the health of the poor: what do we know? What can we do?" Bull World Health Organ. 2000;78(1):3?18.

Readings for Session 7

Barbera, J. et al. “Large Scale Quarantine Following Biological Terrorism in the United States: Scientific Examination, Logistic and Legal Limits, and Possible Consequences.” JAMA. 286(21):2711-2717.

Recommended Readings:
The Center for Law and the Public’s Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities. The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act. October 23, 2001. Unpublished Draft.

Last Updated: 11/25/02

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