In July this year I attended the above-named course and found it both illuminating and confronting. The causes and health threats of infectious diseases are known to many workers, academics and researchers in public health. Their work has drawn attention to ethical tensions and challenges that might otherwise have been obscured by the predominance of non-communicable diseases that Western and/or developed economies are experiencing.
In particular, work from the field shows that the breadth and complexity of public health ethics for infectious disease control and for guiding health care delivery to affected population groups, particularly in relation to global health, is complex and daunting. For practitioners in the field, it can be as challenging as it is fulfilling.
In this seminar I will outline the course aims, content, and presenters’ perspectives, and what I have learned in relation to public health ethics; I will reflect on some philosophical questions raised by the course; and I will discuss how these can inform teaching. The seminar is intended to be interactive, and will welcome input from attendees on their experience in working in the field, whether as researchers, clinicians or educators; and to consider whether and how the School might develop some guiding principles for the research conducted by staff and HDR students.
About Dr Rose Leontini
Dr Rose Leontini is a Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney, where she teaches public health ethics and professionalism across the School’s postgraduate courses and in the Faculty’s medical program. She has an interdisciplinary background that includes health ethics, health sociology, and the history and philosophy of science and technology. She has conducted research on the social and ethical aspects of genetic testing, and into the social, cultural and policy dimensions of alcohol use among university students. Other research interests include the history of health and hygiene education in public schools, professionalism, and gender and health.