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What makes a screening program ethical?

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Ethics, as a discipline, asks “is this decision, situation,

    program or policy good? Under what circumstances is

    it good? Why?”. This paper applies these questions to

    screening: “Is screening good? Under what circumstances

    is it good? Why is it good?”. Of course, the answer to

    these questions depends on how one defines “good”. A

    consequentialist, for instance, will suggest that a screening

    program is good when it prevents or, at least, reduces harm

    and suffering1 whereas non-consequentialists are likely to

    take a rather different approach. In this short paper, I have

    room only to skate across the surface of these arguments. I

    will suggest that there are at least two, rather different, sets

    of responses to the questions above and I will investigate the

    detail of two of these. The first response states that screening

    programs are good when they prevent harm and suffering;

    the second suggests that screening programs are worthwhile

    because they enhance autonomous decision making.

Publication Date


  • 2006

Citation


  • Braunack-Mayer, A. (2006). What makes a screening program ethical?. Public Health Bulletin South Australia, 5 7-9.

Number Of Pages


  • 2

Start Page


  • 7

End Page


  • 9

Volume


  • 5

Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Abstract


  • Ethics, as a discipline, asks “is this decision, situation,

    program or policy good? Under what circumstances is

    it good? Why?”. This paper applies these questions to

    screening: “Is screening good? Under what circumstances

    is it good? Why is it good?”. Of course, the answer to

    these questions depends on how one defines “good”. A

    consequentialist, for instance, will suggest that a screening

    program is good when it prevents or, at least, reduces harm

    and suffering1 whereas non-consequentialists are likely to

    take a rather different approach. In this short paper, I have

    room only to skate across the surface of these arguments. I

    will suggest that there are at least two, rather different, sets

    of responses to the questions above and I will investigate the

    detail of two of these. The first response states that screening

    programs are good when they prevent harm and suffering;

    the second suggests that screening programs are worthwhile

    because they enhance autonomous decision making.

Publication Date


  • 2006

Citation


  • Braunack-Mayer, A. (2006). What makes a screening program ethical?. Public Health Bulletin South Australia, 5 7-9.

Number Of Pages


  • 2

Start Page


  • 7

End Page


  • 9

Volume


  • 5

Place Of Publication


  • Australia