Assignment 2: Ethics in Public Health Decision Making

Imagine that your state legislature is considering a law that would require parental consent for newborn screening. Parental consent is currently not required, although newborn testing is not conducted over parental objection. (Currently only a few states actually require consent.) The health department has been asked to take a position on the pending legislation.

Using the readings for the week, the South University online library, and the Internet, write a 3–5-page paper.

Cover the following:

  • What position should the health department take? Use the following six questions to help craft your response (Bernheim, Nieburg, & Bonnie, 2005).

Ethics Guide for Public Health Decision Making

  1. What are the public health risks and harms of concern in this particular context?
  2. What are the public health goals?
  3. Who are the stakeholders and what are their moral claims?
  4. Is this source or scope of legal authority in question?
  5. Are precedent cases or the historical context relevant?
  6. Do professional codes of ethics provide guidance?

Submit your response in a Microsoft Word document

On a separate page, cite all sources using the APA format.

Bernheim, R. G., Nieburg, P., & Bonnie, R. J. (2005). Ethics and the practice of public health. In R A. Goodman (Ed.), Law in public health practice (2nd ed.). Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.


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