NURS 6730 Week 4: Public Health Ethics Law & Policy

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NURS 6730 Week 4: Public Health Ethics Law & Policy essay assignment

NURS 6730: Public Health Nursing Leadership | Week 4

In their role as leaders in public health systems and organizations, public health nurses must address increasingly complex ethical conflicts in day-to-day practice. Ethical questions arise about the appropriate scope of public health, such as addressing the outcomes of unhealthy individual behaviors, like smoking, as well as the justification for particular public health interventions, such as quarantine and mandatory immunizations.

While ethical decision-making often involves no clear-cut rules for navigation, public health laws and policies are put in place to create conditions for people to lead healthier and safer lives. Public health law creates a mission for public health agencies, assigns their functions, and specifies the manner at which they may exercise their authority. This area of public health holds a uniquely important place under the umbrella of health policy. Unlike most other areas of health care, public health has at its core the concept of population health status and outcomes.

This week, you will gain additional competence in the skills needed to put ethical principles into practice as a public health nurse leader. You will also gain a broader understanding of the role and purpose of law in public health and the key laws and regulations in this area. Finally, you will explore policy-making in the public health arena and gain an understanding of the challenges faced when balancing individual freedom with social obligation.

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Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze ethical implications of public health leadership (A)
  • Propose guidelines for ethical decision-making (A)
  • Assess progress in the field of public health as it relates to ethics, law, and policy (A)
  • Create practicum project goals (P)
  • Justify practicum projects (P)
  • Define methods for implementing practicum projects (P)
  • Develop practicum project evaluation plans (P)

NURS 6730 Week 4: Public Health Ethics Law & Policy essay assignment

Assignment: Case Study-Ethical Implications

Sanaa Muro has been leading an obesity prevention program for the past year and half working closely with schools in underserved neighborhoods across several southern U.S. states. She was excited to learn a new potential funding source would allow the program to serve its community at another level for a sustained period. She later found out that the funding would come with the expectation of marketing products directly to the families that signed up for the program. To make matters worse, the products included items that contradicted the healthy living guidelines promoted through the program. Sanaa knew she did not want to be obligated by this funding to do anything she felt was not in the best interest of the community. However, it was not her decision alone and other stakeholders, focused on the financial prospect and distanced from the community, were advocating strongly for accepting the funding with the sentiment that they could still do more good than harm with this money.

Do you feel prepared to resolve ethical conflicts you may face as a public health leader?

The public health nurse leader must strive to uphold the ethical principle of beneficence – taking action for the benefit of others – and make the best possible use of the opportunities he or she is given to improve the health of communities.

This week, you will focus on ethics in public health through an analysis of The Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

To prepare:

  • Review this week’s Resources.
  • Review Pritchard (1999), Case Study 3: The Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
  • Review the ANA’s statement on ethics.
  • Reflect on how the health system failed in relation to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

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The Assignment: (1– to–2–page paper)

Write an analysis that explains the key lessons learned from the Tuskegee Study as it relates to:

  • Public Health leadership
    • Viewing from a leadership perspective, what responsibility did the Public Health nurse who coerced people into the study, have to the community and profession?
  • Public Health nursing ethics
    • What competencies would guide a public health nurse leader when facing an ethical dilemma?
  • What guidelines for decision-making would you propose?
  • What progress has been made in the field of public health to prevent this type of ethical violation from happening again? What laws and policies exist to protect communities? Be specific, and support your paper with scholarly resources.

By Day 7

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