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ethics consultation, ethics education, ethics guidance, public health, public health ethics



  1. Barrett, Drue H.
  2. Bernier, Roger H. PhD, MPH
  3. Sowell, Anne L. PhD
  4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Ethics Committee Steering Group


In early 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched an initiative to strengthen leadership in public health ethics. This resulted in the formation of an external Ethics Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director, an internal CDC Public Health Ethics Committee, and the creation of a new position, the CDC Public Health Ethics Coordinator, to oversee the activities of these two committees and to serve as the main point of contact for public health ethics at the agency. Through this effort, the CDC is collaborating with the Ethics Subcommittee to develop ethical guidance documents that address specific public health program concerns, including pandemic influenza, emergency preparedness and response, and genomics. It is anticipated that as the public health ethics activities grow within the CDC, benefits will be seen in greater participation and partnership with affected stakeholders and strengthened public trust in health recommendations.