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Ethical issues in epidemiologic research and public health practice

Steven S Coughlin

Author Affiliations

Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE (K-55), Atlanta, GA 30341

Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 2006, 3:16  doi:10.1186/1742-7622-3-16

Published: 3 October 2006


A rich and growing body of literature has emerged on ethics in epidemiologic research and public health practice. Recent articles have included conceptual frameworks of public health ethics and overviews of historical developments in the field. Several important topics in public health ethics have also been highlighted. Attention to ethical issues can facilitate the effective planning, implementation, and growth of a variety of public health programs and research activities. Public health ethics is consistent with the prevention orientation of public health. Ethical concerns can be anticipated or identified early and effectively addressed through careful analysis and consultation.