Introduction to Public Health Ethics (BETH5206)

UNIT OF STUDY

This unit introduces the ethics of public health. Ethics is the study of what should be done. In public health this requires thinking about what we want healthcare to achieve, both for communities and individuals. As this always involves prioritization and compromise it is important to understand; how and why we focus on some health issues and not others; why we focus on some populations and not others; how we weigh up the benefits, harms and costs of intervening in people's lives; whether our interventions are fair, just and undermine or promote human rights; and how we can best engage with communities and maintain their trust. None of these issues can be understood simply by reference to evidence, efficiency, policy or law. This is where an understanding of ethics can help. By the end of the Unit you will be able to identify the values and ideas upon which public health rests and ready to start thinking proactively about the ethical and legal issues that are raised by public health interventions and health policy. This is a Core Unit for Graduate Diploma and Master in Public Health students. All assessments must be completed to pass this Unit.

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Further unit of study information

Classes

2x8hr intensives; or Distance Education (online). Attendance is compulsory if enrolled in block mode.

Assessment

2xOnline Quiz (40%); 3x500wd short answer (60%)

Textbooks

Students are provided with a book of readings (in digital format). Most supplementary readings can be accessed through the library or online.

Faculty/department permission required?

No

Unit of study rules

Prohibitions

BETH5203

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Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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