Ethics and public health: forging a strong relationship

Am J Public Health. 2002 Feb;92(2):169-76. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.2.169.


The field of bioethics arose in the late 1960s in response to the emerging ethical dilemmas of that era. The field for many years focused in general on the dilemmas generated by high-technology medicine rather than on issues of population health and the ethical problems of public health programs and regulations. The time has come to more fully integrate the ethical problems of public health into the field of public health and, at the same time, into the field of bioethics. Public health raises a number of moral problems that extend beyond the earlier boundaries of bioethics and require their own form of ethical analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioethics*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Curriculum
  • Ethics, Professional
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Politics
  • Public Health / education
  • Public Health Practice / standards*
  • United States