Trustworthiness in Public Health Practice


From salmonella outbreaks in peanut butter to the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, such as asthma, public health professionals increasingly are expected to assume responsibility for complex and varied determinants of public health. Equally, within the public health equation, members of the public are expected to act and react prudently. But media spin and news hype can complicate public health responsibilities as well as expectations of citizen behavior. Public health practitioners face the daunting challenge of attempting to disseminate accurate information and sound advice while individual citizens wonder whom to trust. After giving an overview of the changing landscape of public health ethics, this talk will focus on three related questions. What kind of trust can regulatory oversight inspire? What are the features of trustworthy public health practitioners? and Can public health institutions exhibit similar qualities?
Karen Meagher
PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy at MSU
Recorded December 7, 2011


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