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A Discussion of Whether Ethical Principles and Policies that serve as the Basis for Public Health Laws can mutually and simultaneously Co-exist

Public health is among the few fields that has a great influence of legal power or police power. The public health laws and policies assist in directing citizens into observing health ways. For example, excise taxes on risky behaviors like tobacco and sugary foods consumptions acts as disincentives for riskbehaviors. Fokunang et al. (2013) observe that public health ethics concerns itself with the moral foundation of human wellness as a yardstick for maximizing welfare and hence as a key component of public health. Such a perception however frames a critical moral challenge in public health regarding the balancing of personal liberties with the developments of the public health outcomes. Another alternative viewpoint of public health ethics regards social justice as the moral basis for public health. Herein, balancing individual’s liberties with the endeavorof promoting public social good embeds a broader commitmentto realizing a good level of wellness for all and narrowing unjust inequalities. As such, public health ethics has a robust moral connection not only to the issues of social justice and poverty, but also to a systematic disadvantage.

Consequently, an informed analysis of this study informs that it is hard for the public health laws and policies to mutually and simultaneously co-exist with the ethical principles and procedures. Every federal law and policy attracts at least one moral concern. However, in entirety, the instance under which ethical principles and theories defy the public laws and policies are limited and restricted; hence, it is not good to deter their implementation because their overall public benefit surpasses the harm. For instance, higher prices for unhealthy products negatively impact a few interest groups while at the same convey great benefit to the overall public good. In the case of ACA, many businesses and people now have a more strenuous budget while catering to health insurance coverage. However, the insured persons realize more enormous benefits during treatment. The economy also saves a lot when most people are covered. In this regard, although it is difficult for public health laws policies to co-exist mutually and simultaneously with the ethical principles, they advocate for the overall benefit of the society.


Fokunang, C. N., Tembe-Fokunang, E. A., Awah, P., Ngounoue, M. D., Chi, P. C., Ateudjieu, J., & Abena, O. M. T. (2013). The Role of Ethics in Public Health Clinical Research. In Current Topics in Public Health. IntechOpen.