Skip to main content

Table 2 Principles of the ethical practice of public health

From: Developing public health ethics learning modules – can we learn from critical pedagogy?

1 Public Health should address principally the fundamental cause of disease and requirements for health, aiming to prevent adverse health outcomes.
2 Public Health should achieve community health in a way that respects the rights of individuals in the community.
3 Public health policies, programs, and priorities should be developed and evaluated through processes that ensure an opportunity for input from community members.
4 Public Health should advocate for, or work for the empowerment of, disenfranchised community members, ensuring that the basic conditions necessary for health are accessible to all people in the community.
5 Public Health should seek information needed to implement effective policies and programs that protect and promote health.
6 Public health institutions should provide communities with the information they have that is needed for decisions on policies or programs and should obtain the community’s consent for implementation.
7 Public health institutions should act in a timely manner on the information they have within the resources and mandate given to them by the biblical.
8 Public health programs and policies should incorporate a variety of approaches that anticipate and respect diverse values, beliefs, and cultures in the community.
9 Public health programs and policies should be implemented in a manner that most enhances the physical and social environment.
10 Public health institutions should protect the confidentiality of information that can bring harm to an individual or community if made public. Exceptions must be justified on the basis of the high likelihood or significant harm to the individual or others.
11 Public health institutions should ensure the professional competence of their employees.
12 Public health institutions and their employees should engage in collaborations and affiliations in ways that build the public’s trust and the institution’s effectiveness.
  1. Source: American Public Health Association. American Public Health Association: public health code of ethics available at: [37]