Ethical Dimension

    Read the case study located in section 3.8 of your textbook, Case 4: Black-White Infant Mortality: Disparities, Priorities, and Social Justice.

    Step 1: Analyze the Ethical Dimensions of the Public Health Issue and Context

    You are considering shifting resources from maternal-child health programs to programs for more members of the community.  If black-white disparities in birth outcomes continue, but the overall health of the community improves, have you met your ethical obligations as a health department?
    Is there something about infant mortality that makes it special in consideration of fairness? Do we need to think about what is fair in a different way because infants are involved?
    Should the role of race and racism in infant mortality impact how we set priorities and allocate resources? Why or why not?
    Step 2: Formulate Alternative Courses of Action and Evaluate their Ethical Dimensions

    There are 3 choices suggested in this case study:

    Maintain funding for maternal-child health care
    Shift funding from maternal-child health care to programs that impact the health of the larger community
    Involve the community in deciding what the priorities are and how resources should be allocated
    What are the ethical dimensions of each option?
    If the community gets involved, who should speak for the community?

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