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Monday 12 March 2018 9:29am

Bioethics Seminar: The emergence of public health ethics - POSTPONED

James C. Thomas, PhD, University of North Carolina


Ethics are often about imbalances of power. In public health, the power imbalances are principally between a population and its government, rather than between a patient and a clinician. But only recently has public health ethics distinguished itself from medical ethics. The emergence of public health ethics has been driven in part by global phenomena, such as the threat of pandemics. I will describe this emergence and its expression in different cultures.
Jim Thomas is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the MEASURE Evaluation project at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As an epidemiologist, Dr. Thomas has studied the social epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases, including for example, the unintended consequences of mass incarceration on community health. Dissatisfied with the ability of medical ethics to address the social inequities in the populations he was studying, Dr. Thomas played a foundational role in defining the field of public health ethics. He was the principal author of the American public health code of ethics. In the context of global health, he is interested in cross-cultural public health ethics, and ethics in digital information systems.

Video linked:
To secure the booking for this seminar video link in Christchurch and Wellington, please register your name, subject and date of seminar for attendance: Wellington School of Medicine Room D31 Contact: Videoconferencing University of Otago Wellington or University of Otago Christchurch Room 7.11 Contact: Dean Pester:
Please note: if there is no registration (for northern campuses) by the Thursday prior to the advertised seminar, the booking for that campus venue will be terminated.
Dunedin attendees do not need to register

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