Assignment: Ethical Foundation of Public Health

Assignment: Ethical Foundation of Public Health

Assignment: Ethical Foundation of Public Health

Lancaster (2016) noted that the ethical foundation of public health is rooted in ideals from the Enlightenment, a period of human history characterized by scientific thought, regard for the individual rights, and concerns for the disadvantaged. It marked a period of time from the 1700s to the mid-1850s during which individuals were freed from medieval thinking and embraced concerns for humanity and promotion of social justice. Social justice is founded in the idea that all persons are entitled to an equal share of societal burdens and benefits (Turnock, 2016). Social justice recognizes that there are definite barriers to equal distribution of benefits and burdens, such as class distinctions, heredity, and discrimination or bias due to, for example, sexual preference, race, or gender (Turnock, 2016). Extending the benefits of physical and behavioral science to those who are burdened unequally by disease and poor health is the overarching goal of public health (Turnock, 2016). According to Powers and Faden (2004), no society can be considered just if some segments of the population are afforded less regard and respect because of their socioeconomic status, race, gender, or sexual orientation. The Institute of Medicine defined the purpose of public health as creating the conditions for people to be healthy, which Powers and Faden (2004) viewed as a direct outcome of social justice.

Nurses play an important role in assuring social justice. Historically, nurses such as Lillian Wald, Mary Brewster, and Florence Nightingale worked tirelessly to assure that the most disadvantaged segments of the population received access to health care. Nurses must continue to be the voice for the underserved to assure access to consistent, efficient, and effective health care (Lancaster, 2016).

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Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Analyze how social justice can bring about a change in society

· Analyze factors contributing to vulnerability of populations and health disparities

· Analyze the nurse’s role in advocating for social justice

· Analyze the nurse’s commitment to the health of vulnerable populations and the elimination of health disparities

· Synthesize practicum experience

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Learning Resources

Required Readings

Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2016). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

· Chapter 2, “History of Public Health and Public and Community Health Nursing” (pp. 22–43)

· Chapter 6, “Application of Ethics in the Community” (pp. 121–138)

Document: APA Presentation Template (PowerPoint)

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2009c). Family, community and population-based care: Vulnerable populations [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 14 minutes.


Writing Resources and Program Success Tools

Document: AWE Checklist (Level 4000) (Word document)


This checklist will help you self-assess your writing to see if it meets academic writing standards for this course.

Document: BSN Program Top Ten Citations and References (Word document)

Discussion: Advocating for Social Justice

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