Ethical Principles of Public Health and the Christian Worldview
Ethical principles are essential points for consideration concerning public health. There are several crucial principles that medical workers are obliged to follow. For instance, all these principles strive to help people, to prevent and protect them from harm. The notion of equal treatment for all patients also unites the principles of public health ethics. Moreover, it is essential to respect the confidentiality and personal issues of a patient. There might be some situations when the Christian worldview and principles of ethics do not correspond. It is vital to examine what dilemma might occur and how principles of ethical practice in public health may solve this issue.
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From the standpoint of the Christian worldview, some considerations of medical ethics can be controversial. For example, the potential situation might be an abortion; it is known that the Bible rejects it and claims a murder (Collins, 2019). The Bible prohibits the killing of a child, even though certain situations might arise. In the principles of ethical practice of public health, the standpoint differs; for example, the tenth principle says that the person is independent in his decisions and is responsible for acting according to his knowledge (CDC, 2002). For instance, the eleventh principle states that besides the information given, it is important to apply the values of a person (CDC, 2002). Thus, to find a solution, patients might be given the necessary information and the right to make their own decision, and the professional will be guided by the eleventh principle. It may become a good option for everyone in this situation, as the patient is informed and warned about consequences but still has authority for the decisive word.
The Failure of Effective Communication: Flint’s Incident
The failure in Flint, Michigan, turned out to be one of the most severe catastrophes for the state’s citizens. The wrong regulation of water resulted in an increase in the level of lead in inhabitants of Flint, especially in children (Campbell et al., 2016). The failure of the city’s government to treat its water system appropriately led to the poisoning of many people. The incident is a failure of the government’s appeal to the municipal structure and thus to citizens. Efficient and timely communication can improve public health outcomes (Katner et al., 2018). Therefore, it is crucial to know how to manage the communication between the citizens and policymakers.
The incident was also connected to the state’s inability to provide low-income layers of the population with safe water. It becomes apparent that those who could not afford to buy quality drinking water were subject to the risk of poisoning with lead. The tragedy provoked a dissonance related to racism on financial status and unequal treatment (Butler et al., 2016). It is essential to consider what measures can be taken to provide people with a safe product and prevent similar cases in the future.
For instance, considering the environmental injustice in Flint, it becomes clear that the state has to control the level of dangerous substances in water. It is also helpful to look at the fifth principle of public health, which says that a damaged natural environment harms the person (CDC, 2002). Therefore, according to this principle, a damaged environment is inevitable for inhabitants. Moreover, considering principles of ethics, it is vital to inform the affected community neatly to prevent mass discontent. In contrast, the message to directive policymakers should be concise, intense, and inviting for immediate action to avoid serious consequences. Therefore, an affected community needs a more accurate and prudent approach compared to the call for action in the government.
Overall, the principles of ethics in public health are essential for effective communication and applicable to multiple situations. For instance, the patient should be informed about the risks and consequences of his decision. The medical worker should be guided by these ethical principles in communication with the patient. It is also necessary to know how to speak with affected inhabitants to calm them down and prevent various breakdowns. In contrast, the message addressed to the governmental structure should contain a strong invocation for action.
Butler, L. J., Scammell, M. K., & Benson, E. B. (2016). The Flint, Michigan, water crisis: A case study in regulatory failure and environmental injustice. Environmental Justice, 9(4), 93–97. Web.
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Campbell, C., Greenberg, R., Mankikar, D., & Ross, R. (2016). A case study of environmental injustice: The failure in Flint. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(10), 2-11. Web.
CDC. (2002). Principles of the ethical practice of public health (Version 2.2). Public Health Leadership Society. Web.
Collins, J. (2019). What are Biblical values?: What the Bible says on key ethical issues. Yale University Press.
Katner, A. L., Brown, K., Pieper, K., Edwards, M., Lambrinidou, Y., & Subra, W. (2018). America’s path to drinking water infrastructure inequality and environmental injustice: The case of Flint, Michigan. The Palgrave Handbook of Sustainability, 1, 79–97. Web.