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Public Health Ethics

Given the array of stakeholders and issues dealt with by local health departments (LHDs), health officials and their staff must be ready to handle ethical dilemmas that arise in day-to-day practice. Ethical considerations underlie numerous aspects of public health practice, ranging from staffing decisions at LHDs to distribution of vaccines during pandemics to media strategies related to sensitive subjects such as obesity. Tension often emerges as LHD staff try to find balance between individual rights or preferences and a community’s claims to health and safety. Since 2010, NACCHO has partnered with the CDC Public Health Ethics Unit to provide public health ethics education and training for local health departments. The following resources include products and information resulting from the NACCHO-CDC ethics partnership, as well as related tools and content.
In the Spotlight
Ethics Webinar
Upcoming Ethics Training Opportunity

The APHA Annual Meeting includes a full-day ethics course on October 31 in Chicago, IL. Click on the "More" button to view full details about the opportunity. More »

Build an Ethics Infrastructure at Your Health Department
Building an Ethics Infrastructure in Local Health Departments: A Guide for Ethics Champions

As an increasing number of LHDs seek accreditation, LHDs need resources and advocates to handle public health ethics issues effectively. The Public Health Accreditation Board requires LHDs to document processes for dealing with ethical concerns. This fact sheet will help accreditation coordinators and LHD practitioners understand and promote the importance of public health ethics. More »

Fact Sheet: NACCHO & CDC Ethics Partnership
Ethics Project Fact Sheet

This fact sheet summarizes the key activities and products resulting from the NACCHO and CDC public health ethics partnership thus far. Key achievements include collaboration (along with other subject matter experts and partners) on the "Good Decision Making in Real Time" ethics training and the subsequent eLearning version of the course recently launched on NACCHO University. More »