Ethical Analysis of Public Health Programmes: What Does It Entail?

  • Giridhara R. Babu
  • A. Yamuna


While several professions have ethical guidelines set by their own professional bodies, such guidance is often not available for implementation of public health programmes. Therefore, very often, ethical perspectives involving the public health programmes (PHPs) are neglected. As a result, several ethical issues arise during the implementation phase. This chapter examines three key principles, namely, respect to persons, beneficence, and justice, and explores its applicability to public health practice. It analyse this framework using three case studies: the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP), introduction of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines in India, and polio eradication (PE) programme. We used the published literature, reports of ongoing national programmes, and documents outlining ethical principles published by national and international organizations to analyse the components of the framework. Each case study informs the multifaceted dimensions of ethical issues and challenges associated with a specific programme. In the absence of clearly developed guidance, we illustrate how using our proposed framework can identify and resolve ethical issues in the existing public health programmes.


Ethical analysis Public health programmes Respect for persons Beneficence Justice 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giridhara R. Babu
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Yamuna
    • 1
  1. 1.Public Health Foundation of India, Indian Institute of Public Health-HyderabadBengaluruIndia
  2. 2.Wellcome Trust-DBT India AllianceHyderabadIndia

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