Professional Ethics And Codes Of Conduct Essay

Ethics The American Public Health Association's ethics interest group is comprised of a mixed group of "public health students, practitioners, educators and researchers," according to the APHA ethics website. The association publishes a journal on the subject called Public Health Ethics that studies the issue in detail and keeps current on emerging ethical issues in the field. The ethics interest group mirrors the organization's membership, which comprises disparate groups all involved in public health in one way or another.

The ethics group was formed because the APHA believes that ethics in the health care industry is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. The group wants to promote strong ethical foundations in the health care industry beginning at the student level, and aims to do this by facilitating communication about ethical issues. The APHA also has a program for dealing with ethical issues in research.

The APHA believes that ethics have always been a component of health care, presumably dating to the Hippocratic Oath. As such, the code of ethics that it published in 2002 is viewed as neither a complete ethical guide nor a groundbreaking one. There are many issues, therefore, that the APHA does not cover or does not cover in substantial detail. The Code that the association has published is...


While some of the principles are relatively timeless, others have seemingly been adapted to the current American milieu, including notes on the effect of public trust on the effectiveness of institutions; the importance of collaboration and the relevance of science. The principles are wide-ranging, and allow the public and other non-industry stakeholders to understand the fundamentals of ethics.
The APHA does not have an active enforcement mechanism for its ethical principles. The principles are as much discussion points as anything else and the role that the APHA plays with respect to ethics in the health care industry is that it facilitates dialogue among the industry stakeholders with respect to ethical behavior and principles. As such, there is no body that measures the ethical performance against the APHA principles -- they merely exist as a form of ethical guidepost and as a starting point for advanced discussion on the topic.

In general, professional bodies that have ethical codes do have the ability to enforce those…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited:

Article: American Public Health Association (2010). Ethics. Retrieved from

PHLS. (2002). Principles of ethical practice of public health. Public Health Leadership Society. Retrieved October 15, 2011 from

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