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Beyond Research Ethics: Novel Approaches of 3 Major Public Health Institutions to Provide Ethics Input on Public Health Practice Activities

Beyond Research Ethics: Novel Approaches of 3 Major Public Health Institutions to Provide Ethics Input on Public Health Practice Activities

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 2018

Public health institutions increasingly realize the importance of creating a culture in their organizations that values ethics. When developing strategies to strengthen ethics, institutions will have to take into account that while public health research projects typically undergo thorough ethics review, activities considered public health practice may not be subjected to similar oversight. This approach, based on a research-practice dichotomy, is increasingly being criticized as it does not adequately identify and manage ethically relevant risks to those affected by nonresearch activities. As a reaction, 3 major public health institutions (the World Health Organization, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Public Health Ontario) have implemented mechanisms for ethics review of public health practice activities. In this article, we describe and critically discuss the different modalities of the 3 approaches. We argue that although further evaluation is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the different approaches, public health institutions should strive to implement procedures to ensure that public health practice adheres to the highest ethical standards.

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Accession: 052188899

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PMID: 29481545

DOI: 10.1097/phh.0000000000000734

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