Reproductive Health and Public Health Ethics

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 99, pp. 75-79, 2007

U Toronto, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-07

6 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2007 Last revised: 28 May 2008

See all articles by Bernard Dickens

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Abstract

Individuals' reproductive choices are private matters, but sexual conduct and pregnancy impose significant public health burdens. Ethical principles of public health are distinguishable from principles applied in modern bioethics. Bioethical principles have been developed at the clinical or microethical level, affecting relations among individuals, whereas pubic health ethics applies at the population-based or macroethical level. Resolution of issues, for instance of consent to healthcare interventions and preservation of privacy, is different from public health practice in clinical medicine. Public health aspects of human reproduction concern reduction of maternal mortality and morbidity, particularly in resource-poor countries, and the contribution to high rates of each of unsafe abortion, most prevalent where abortion laws are restrictive. Further aspects of public health ethics concern limited access to contraceptive services, the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, causes of infertility, especially due to STIs, and responses to each of these concerns.

Keywords: Public health ethics, Reproductive health, Maternal mortality and morbidity, Ethics, Unsafe abortion, Contraception, Infertility

JEL Classification: K10, J13, I18, I10

Suggested Citation

Dickens, Bernard and Cook, Rebecca J., Reproductive Health and Public Health Ethics. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 99, pp. 75-79, 2007; U Toronto, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1026331

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

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