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Public Health Code of Ethics

Funded by the CDC and PHLS, the Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health were developed by the Center for Health Leadership & Practice, Public Health Institute, members of the original PHLS Ethics Work Group, and the current PHLS standing committee on Public Health Ethics.

The code is neither a new nor an exhaustive system of health ethics. Rather, it highlights the ethical principles that follow from the distinctive characteristics of public health. A key belief worth highlighting, and which underlies several of the Ethical Principles, is the interdependence of people. This interdependence is the essence of community. Public Health not only seeks to assure the health of whole communities, but also recognizes that the health of inviduals is tied to their life in the community.

The code is intended principally for public and other institutions in the United State that have an explicit public health mission. Institutions and individuals that are outside of traditional public health, but recognize the effects of their work on the health of the community, may also find the Code relevant and useful.

Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health, 2002, Brochure

Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health, 2002, Poster

Skills for the Ethical Practice of Public Health, 2004

Other publications related to the Code of Ethics:

Distinguishing Public Health Practice and Human Subjects Research

Distinguishing Public Health Practice and Research: a Review of Cases