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The conflict between the ethics of th individual and the ethics governing public health: practical sustainability of health care in jeopardy?



The conflict between the ethics of th individual and the ethics governing public health: practical sustainability of health care in jeopardy?



Journal of Law and Medicine 15(3): 434-449



The "health rights movement" has reconstructed the clinical relationship between health care workers and patients by simultaneously demanding more from traditional medical care and challenging the perceived power differential between doctors and patients by rejecting the paternalistic medical model in favour of an individual patients' rights model. However, the growth in individual expectations of a right to health care creates a potential conflict with the ethics that prioritise public health and guide the rationing of its limited financial and human capital resources. This, in turn, creates a practical dilemma which requires public health institutions to become service orientated while sacrificing their integral role in training and educating the medical workforce and potentially compromising the practical sustainable delivery of public health in Australia. However, the law can play a role in resolving this conflict through legislation, regulations, codes, administrative law and common law in an effort to ensure the quality and future sustainability of public health in Australia.

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Accession: 056271237

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PMID: 18251426


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