The Limits of Public Health: A Response

Public Health Ethics, Vol .2, pp. 84-88, 2009

5 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2009

See all articles by Mark A. Rothstein

Mark A. Rothstein

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law; University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: September 28, 2009

Abstract

In an article published in 2002, Rethinking the Meaning of Public Health (Rothstein, 2002), I criticized the growing trend in the public health literature and professional discourse of considering human rights violations, economic inequalities, health disparities and numerous other social problems as public health issues. Although recognizing the importance of addressing these issues aggressively and immediately, I asserted that the remediation of a wide range of political, economic and social conditions was beyond the jurisdiction, expertise and mandate of public health officials and public health professionals. I wrote about my concern that by claiming such a vast social agenda public health scholars and officials risked undermining their scientific credibility and popular support to perform in their traditional public health roles, such as sanitation, immunization and controlling infectious disease. I advocated a narrow efinition of public health based on the legal authority granted to public health agencies.

Keywords: Public health, population health, human rights

JEL Classification: k31, k32

Suggested Citation

Rothstein, Mark A., The Limits of Public Health: A Response (September 28, 2009). Public Health Ethics, Vol .2, pp. 84-88, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1479853

Mark A. Rothstein (Contact Author)

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law ( email )

Louisville, KY 40202
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.louisville.edu/bioethics

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

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