Justice and public health

Justice and public health: teaching and learning resources


BioCentre Academic Paper search

Films and documentaries

Patient interview: Insufficient hospice care

In this clip, from healthtalkonline.org, the patient says she is angry that people who don't have cancer find it hard to get into a hospice. The clip could allow for reflection on how priorities are set in practice as these don't seem to be a straightforward reflection of need and QALYs (i.e. the purported criteria).

Copyright © 2011 University of Oxford. Used under licence from DIPEx. All rights reserved.

Sicko (2007) (Michael Moore). Documentary look at health care in the United States as provided by profit-oriented health maintenance organizations (HMOs) compared to free, universal care in Canada, the U.K., and France. (IMDB.com)

Super Size Me (2004) While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald's food for one month. (IMDB.com)


Professional guidance

Conflicts of interest: guidance for doctors, GMC (2008)

Management for doctors: guidance for doctors, GMC (2006)

Ethical responsibilities in treating doctors who are patients, BMA (2010)

The interface between NHS and private treatment: a practical guide for doctors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, BMA (2009)

Speaking up for patients, BMA (2009)

Who should have the intensive care bed?, UK Clinical Ethics Network

'Healthcare Funding in the Real World' Foster, C, UK Clinical Ethics Network Commentary

'Buying Life: The Herceptin Case in the Court of Appeal' Foster, C, UK Clinical Ethics Network Commentary

Inside the Ethics Committee: Can an unconscious patient be tested for HIV without his consent?, BBC Radio 4 (2007)

Inside the Ethics Committee: Obesity Surgery, BBC Radio 4 (2010). Should the NHS pick up the pieces when private treatment has unexpected consequences?

Public health: ethical issues, Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2007)

Human Bodies: donation for medicine and research, Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2011)

'A Guide to the Human Tissue Act 2004' UK Clinical Ethics Committee Commentary

Buchanan D R, Miller, F G, A public health perspective on research ethics, J Med Ethics 2006;32:729-733

Sharkey, K., Gillam, L., Should patients with self-inflicted illness receive lower priority in access to healthcare resources? Mapping out the debate, J Med Ethics 2010;36:661-665

Ethics literature

Deckers J: Negative 'GHIs', the Right to Health Protection, and Future Generations. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 2011,on-line first, doi: 10.1007/s11673-011-9295-1

Deckers. J: Could some people be wronged by contracting swine flu? A case discussion on the links between the farm animal sector and human disease. Journal of Medical Ethics, on-line first, doi: 10.1136/jme.2010.040089

Any articles published in Public Health Ethics

Justice and public health: principles

Students should be able to demonstrate a critically reflective understanding of:

  • legal and ethical issues involved in balancing individual and community interests in accessing healthcare resources
  • local, national and international prioritisation in relation to clinical decisions
  • principles and criteria for just distribution of finite healthcare resources
  • the role of the doctor as patient advocate
  • the ethical and legal considerations with respect to patient responsibility for health
  • the responsible use of resources in referral, investigations and prescribing.