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The ethical implications of intervening in bodyweight

Chapter


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Abstract


  • This chapter is about the ethical implications of health sector actions intended to change

    individuals’ or communities’ weight. We consider these implications using two hypothetical

    cases. The first is Megan, a 15-year-old girl whose BMI is in the range defined as obese. She

    has been unable to lose weight and her parents are considering seeking clinical help. The

    second case is the population of the state where Megan lives, in which 35% of adults and

    15% of children are reportedly overweight, and 17% of adults and 5% of children obese. The

    minister for health, prompted by these statistics, is determined to take action. What ethical

    issues are relevant for Megan, her parents, and the health professionals they may consult?

    What ethical issues are relevant for the citizens of the state, their minister for health and

    their bureaucrats? How does a focus on the care of individuals impact on public health,

    and how might community-level interventions affect people like Megan? Interventions

    designed to treat and prevent obesity in individuals and in communities raise important

    ethical issues. These issues are both distinct and overlapping; because the interventions

    have different goals, risks and benefits, moral compromise is always necessary. The central

    task is to think through the ethical and philosophical issues before action is taken: whether

    in clinical medicine or in public health. We present ethical approaches that can assist in

    such reasoning.

UOW Authors


  •   Carter, Stacy
  •   Kerridge, Ian (external author)
  •   Rychetnik, Lucie (external author)
  •   King, Lesley (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Carter, S. M., Kerridge, I., Rychetnik, L. & King, L. (2012). The ethical implications of intervening in bodyweight. In L. A. Baur, S. M. Twigg & R. S. Magnusson (Eds.), A modern epidemic: Expert perspectives on obesity and diabetes (pp. 191-206). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781920899851

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4704&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3695

Book Title


  • A modern epidemic: Expert perspectives on obesity and diabetes

Start Page


  • 191

End Page


  • 206

Place Of Publication


  • Sydney, Australia

Abstract


  • This chapter is about the ethical implications of health sector actions intended to change

    individuals’ or communities’ weight. We consider these implications using two hypothetical

    cases. The first is Megan, a 15-year-old girl whose BMI is in the range defined as obese. She

    has been unable to lose weight and her parents are considering seeking clinical help. The

    second case is the population of the state where Megan lives, in which 35% of adults and

    15% of children are reportedly overweight, and 17% of adults and 5% of children obese. The

    minister for health, prompted by these statistics, is determined to take action. What ethical

    issues are relevant for Megan, her parents, and the health professionals they may consult?

    What ethical issues are relevant for the citizens of the state, their minister for health and

    their bureaucrats? How does a focus on the care of individuals impact on public health,

    and how might community-level interventions affect people like Megan? Interventions

    designed to treat and prevent obesity in individuals and in communities raise important

    ethical issues. These issues are both distinct and overlapping; because the interventions

    have different goals, risks and benefits, moral compromise is always necessary. The central

    task is to think through the ethical and philosophical issues before action is taken: whether

    in clinical medicine or in public health. We present ethical approaches that can assist in

    such reasoning.

UOW Authors


  •   Carter, Stacy
  •   Kerridge, Ian (external author)
  •   Rychetnik, Lucie (external author)
  •   King, Lesley (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Carter, S. M., Kerridge, I., Rychetnik, L. & King, L. (2012). The ethical implications of intervening in bodyweight. In L. A. Baur, S. M. Twigg & R. S. Magnusson (Eds.), A modern epidemic: Expert perspectives on obesity and diabetes (pp. 191-206). Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781920899851

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4704&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3695

Book Title


  • A modern epidemic: Expert perspectives on obesity and diabetes

Start Page


  • 191

End Page


  • 206

Place Of Publication


  • Sydney, Australia