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date: 16 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the ethical issues and impact of interpersonal and self-directed violence on the health of the global population. Interpersonal and self-directed violence (self-harm) are leading causes of death and disability globally, and international guidelines recommend provision of services to those affected by violence, research into the prevalence of violence, and advocacy and training to prevent violence. Importantly, public health practice and research on violence present both global and context-specific ethical challenges. This chapter describes the impact of violence on public health, the role of public health practitioners in addressing violence, fundamental ethical principles and guidelines for public health workers to address violence, and ethical challenges for research and programs dealing with violence, including fair approaches to violence screening and response, safe means of collecting data about violence, reducing risks when resources are limited, and autonomy versus paternalism in suicide management. The chapter concludes by suggesting strategies for the ethical practice of public health in the context of violence.

Keywords: violence, interpersonal violence, self-directed violence, suicide, paternalism, self-harm, autonomy, public health ethics

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