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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the Ethics, Public Health, and Communicable Diseases section of The Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics. Ethical issues relevant to the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases vary based on multiple factors, including ease of disease transmission, the severity of disease, and the availability of effective approaches to the prevention and treatment of disease. One chapter in this section is devoted to immunization, reflecting its crucial role in the prevention of and near eradication of multiple infectious diseases. Other chapters focus on different communicable diseases. The chapter on tuberculosis highlights ethical challenges of combatting an airborne, infectious disease. The chapter on mosquito-borne illnesses examines another context where impoverished living conditions contribute both to the spread of disease and to ethics challenges of disease management. Lastly, the chapter on HIV/AIDS highlights how ethical analysis of public health interventions can shift with the advancement of science and the development of effective methods of prevention and treatment regimens.

Keywords: communicable disease, infectious disease, immunization, tuberculosis, mosquito-borne illnesses, HIV/AIDS, public health ethics

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