Florida Public Health Review


Akiva Turner

Publication Date



Whereas public health practitioners and leaders regularly make decisions that require some degree of ethical consciousness, sometimes these decisions are guided or even heavily influenced by political ramifications rather than healthcare and public health ones. Some relatively recent decisions in Florida and at the national level involving public health authorities may have been made where politics won out over sound public health practice. Only a few studies exist regarding what public health employees consider to be ethical issues in practice and there are few formal bodies that guide ethical practice in public health. In this commentary I argue that attempts to bridge the gap between academic public health ethics and practice will have to address the political nature of public health entities. Ethicists may need a better understanding of the political interference experienced by practitioners as well as weigh in with ethical analyses, invited or not, during the public health political process.