Public Health Practice Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Healthcare Type: Research Paper Paper: #87057089 Related Topics: E Coli, Health Assessment, Smoking In Public, Surveillance
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Health Care

There are many things that have led to the renaissance of public health in the past 20 years. However, the most important ones include eradication of infectious diseases through vaccination, increased awareness, better hygiene control, better primary care facilities and more stress on epidemiology.

It has been stated that humans have a right to public health (Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health, 2002) Keeping this in mind, public health authorities have been quite vigilant in reducing the burden of disease. Infectious disease were the major cause of morbidity and mortality. Due to the presence of vaccines and antibiotics, these diseases have been controlled to a very decent extent. Vaccination programs that go on to protect the person against diseases like TB, Diphtheria, Pertusis, Mumps, Measles and Rubella have been successful in countries all over the world. Furthermore, antibiotics have been made available to cure infectious diseases like diarrhea and upper respiratory tracts infections.

Also, awareness has been enhanced so that the community puts in their share to improve their health. For instance, hygiene has been made better by stressing on the importance of hand washing. In countries where safe drinking water is not available, filtration plants have been made so water borne diseases are reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, a lot of stress has been placed on epidemiology. The modern day epidemic is that of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Researchers and epidemiologists have shifted their focus to these diseases. The results of these researches are being used to inform people about the risks of over eating and a sedentary life style. Using these researches, public health officials are considering it their duty to make people more aware about their health. Lastly, primary care has been made accessible in the most remote areas all over the world.

Question 2

For a period of 40 years, doctors and public officials watched 400 men literally die in an experiment about syphilis. This study was carried out on immoral and unethical grounds only to study the disease in more detail. Unfortunately, the people that were included in the study were never told that they were part of the study. Furthermore, treatment options that were available to treat syphilis were withheld from them. The doctors basically prevented these people from seeing physicians that could help them. Ultimately, the result was that many of the people died a very painful death. Other men became insane or permanently blind. Furthermore, this experiment caused many people to transmit this study onto their children as well.

This study was unethical for many reasons. Primarily, these men were not even informed about what they were about to go under. This means that they did not even both to attain consent from these men. The Code of Ethical Practice states that public health institution should obtain a community's consent before anything is implemented (Thomas & Sage, 2002) Another code states that these programs and policies should be taken into consideration in such a manner that the physical and the social environment should be enhanced. The Tuskegee study basically looked over the detrimental effects of Syphilis by studying the later stages of the disease. It is true that Syphilis was a growing problem in the community back then but that did not call for immoral treatment of men. Lastly and most importantly, this study violates the first code of public health that is to prevent adverse health outcome.

Withholding treatment from patients is not really preventing adverse health outcomes. This study strictly violated ethical, moral and professional guidelines that are present.

Question 3

The three types of law are civil law, criminal law and civil law. The criminal law basically describes the actions that a person may do. In other words, it merely informs which act is legally wrong and hence it maintains conduct. The constitutional law basically informs the result of any crime done by a person. In other words, it tells a person why they are charged guilty or why they are getting a certain punishment. Lastly, the most relevant...


This law is basically deal s around human association and how these functions are linked to the development and enhancements of humans in the society (Schwarzenberger, 1943) It has been stated that humans in a society need to work together in order to be successful. However, they also have the tendency to create conflict and ultimately be repelled from one another.

A public health agency needs to take special note of the civil law. In order to spread their message or make sure a plan is implanted in a society, an agency needs to learn about the community. They need to know the interests and the motives of the community and what is disliked by them. All of these things can be discovered if the civil law of that area is known. Due to various religions, cultures and norms, no two communities are similar. Therefore, the public health agency needs to learn how to interact with the people in the community. In order to be successful, they should be able to deal with them socially, economically and of course medically as well. In other words, public health agencies should try to ensure that disputes are kept to a minimum so that a decent level of trust can be built in the concerned society.

Question 4

Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act enables a citizen to sue persons who, under color of state law, deprive them of their constitutional rights (Scutchfield & Keck, 1997) Everyone is aware of what these rights are and their violation will result in relevant punishment for the guilty. Back in the day, this law could be applied to public health officials but the government would be responsible for dealing with the damages. In the year 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed claims against an individual who has violated rights in the Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) After this case, there was a term used as Bivens action in which this law could be applied to the employees of public health service. Along with Public Health Service, action could also be taken against employees of CDC and other federal agencies.

This means that when a person is dealing with the public under a health department, they are liable for their own actions. Regardless of their employment status, these people are responsible for how they treat their patients . Even if there are volunteers present in the public health departments, they should be very careful to not violate any person's constitutional rights.

In order for the accusation to be proved, the plaintiff must prove that the official violate their conduct. In other words, he should prove that the officer went against the constitutional rights on purpose. Keeping this in mind, medical health official should be very careful when dealing with the public. This is quite clearly interlinked with the medial ethics that were mentioned before. The public health officials should work for the benefit of the people and not discriminate against a person on any basis. They will be judged and punished according to their actions.

Question 5

Public Health Surveillance is the continuous process of collection, analysis and interpretation of data that is linked with the prevention and control of a disease or injury (Thacker & Berkelman, 1988) In simple terms, this is done so the status and the behavior of a population can be figured out. In doing so, public health officials figure out the need for an intervention or an effect of an intervention that was carried out before.


In order for a health care official to prove that this individual has E.Coli, laboratory tests are necessary. The laboratory can attain blood or stool samples that would show positive results for E.Coli. One way that surveillance could be done is to collect data from health care officials of people who are suspected to have E.Coli. In other words, primary care physicians, physician assistance, nurse and health care providers in public or private settings can be asked about people reporting with diarrhea. These people can then be tested for E.Coli positivity in their stool or blood samples. This way public surveillance of E.Coli can be carried out.

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury usually results after a trauma or mechanical damage. In other to carry this out successfully, health officials can inquire hospitals, emergency care units and primary care physicians about patients who presented with road traffic accidents or other trauma. These individuals can then be investigated for a spinal cord injury. Most probably, individuals would have gone through the relevant investigations. Therefore, investigations such as X-ray, MRI or CT scan of spinal cord can be reviewed to see how many people are actually suffering from Spinal Cord Injury.

Lung Cancer among nonsmokers

In order to carry out surveillance of lung cancer among nonsmokers, a case control study. This would…

Sources Used in Documents:


Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health. (2002). [e-book] Available through: Public Health Leadership Society [Accessed: 15 Mar 2014].

Schwarzenberger, G. (1943). The three types of law. Ethics, 53 (2), pp. 89 -- 97.

Scutchfield, F.D. & Keck, C.W. (1997). Principles of public health practice. Albany: Delmar Publishers.

Sharpe, P.A., Greaney, M.L., Lee, P.R. & Royce, S.W. (2000). Assets-oriented community assessment.Public Health Reports, 115 (2-3), p. 205.

Cite this Document:

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"Public Health Practice", 16 March 2014, Accessed.28 May. 2022,

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