Don't Miss...
NCCHPP & NCCDH Webinar - Public Health Ethics and Equity: Naming and Navigating Ethical Issues in Public Health Practice. Click to watch and listen to the recording of the webinar.

Presentation - How To (and Why) Analyze the Ethics of Paternalistic Policies in Public Health

NCCHPP & NCCMT Webinar - Priority-setting in Public Health: Evidence and Ethics in Decision-making
Click to watch and listen to the recording of the webinar.

NCCHPP & NCCID Webinar - Public Health Ethics: A Case in Infectious Disease Prevention and Control
Click to watch and listen to the recording of the webinar.

NCCHPP & NCCEH Webinar - Public Health Ethics: A Case in Environmental Health,
Click to watch and listen to the recording of the webinar.

Repertoire - Ethics Frameworks for Public Health 

Utilitarianism in Public Health
 1.3 MB

'Principlism' and Frameworks in Public Health Ethics
 1.2 MB

Introduction to Public Health Ethics 3: Frameworks for Public Health Ethics
 772 K

An Introduction to the Ethical Implications of Economic Evaluations for Healthy Public Policy

Bulletin on what's new in public health ethics [in French, with resources in Fr/En]. From the Public health ethics committee secretariat (Institut national de santé publique du Québec).

Ethics and public health: Forging a strong relationship. By Callahan, D. & Jennings, B. (2002). In the American Journal of Public Health, 92(2), 169-76. On the site of PubMed Central.

Population Health Ethics: Annotated Bibliography. By Greenwood, H.L. and Edwards, N. (2009). On the site of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Population and Public Health (CIHR-IPPH).

Re-visioning Public Health Ethics: A Relational Perspective. By Kenny, N., Sherwin, S. and Baylis, F. (2010). Can J Public Health 2010; 101(1) 9-11. On the site of the Canadian Journal of Public Health.

The contribution of ethics to public health. By Coleman, C.H. et al. (2008). In the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 86 (8). On the site of the World Health Organization.

Framework of Values to Support Ethical Analysis of Public Health Actions. By Filitrault, F., Désy, M. and Leclerc, B. (2015). On the site of l'Institut national de santé publique du Québec.

Éthique et santé publique. Enjeux, valeurs et normativité. By Massé, R. (2003). Québec : Les Presses de l'Université Laval. (In French only).

WHO guidelines on ethical issues in public health surveillance. World Health Organization. (2017). Geneva. On the site of the World Health Organization.

Olivier Bellefleur

Michael Keeling

Two surveys: Practices and needs in public health ethics

Over the past year, the Centre has worked with a research group at the École de santé publique de l'Université de Montréal (ÉSPUM - the University of Montréal's School of Public Health). Our common interests with respect to public health ethics in Canada and the work they had already begun on finding out the state of ethics education in schools of public health in Canada and around the world led to our working more closely together.

...... We partnered with the group in 2017 to conduct a survey of schools of public health (PH) to better understand the state of PH ethics teaching (what is taught, how and by whom, perceived appropriateness, further needs, etc.) in 32 Canadian university PH programs and schools.
Photo : arjecahn, Pantheon. Source:
Creative commons License

Also in 2017, with the help of Louise Ringuette from the ÉSPUM, who worked with us on a practicum placement, the Centre led a second survey of Canadian PH stakeholders at all levels on the ethics resources they use in practice and their needs for additional tools and training. If you responded to this survey back in the spring, thank you! The preliminary results are on the way.

Preliminary, summary reports from these two surveys will soon be published on the NCCHPP's website. In addition, based on the data presented in the preliminary report from the survey of stakeholders, Louise Ringuette will present a poster at this year's Journées annuelles de santé publique (JASP – Québec's annual public health days). For more about JASP, click here (in French). 


As part of our ongoing series of webinars in partnership with the five NCCs for public health, we are presenting two new webinars this fall and winter. First, with the NCC for Determinants of Health, Public Health Ethics and Equity: Naming and Navigating Ethical Issues in Public Health Practice with Dr. Bernie Pauly of the University of Victoria (November 2017)
Click here to learn more and to register.

Still in development is a webinar scheduled for February 2018, presented with the NCC for Aboriginal Health. For more information, keep an eye on our e-Bulletin. To subscribe, click here.


You may have noticed that we have recently done a few presentations on understanding paternalism in public health policies. At les JASP (2015) and at the Ontario Public Health Convention (2017), for example, we set out to help practitioners interpret whether paternalism figures into a policy or program, and if it does, to be able to analyze what sort of paternalism it is (and how problematic it is) rather than simply rejecting the initiative outright. During this time we have been working on a longer publication, entitled How Can We (and Why Should We) Analyze the Ethics of Paternalistic Policies in Public Health? (to be published in January 2018).

Our next steps with this work include developing a webinar in 2018 and publishing a framework for analyzing paternalistic policies in public health. This framework will be intended to serve as a complement to a more general public health ethics framework, allowing one to add a considered analysis of paternalism into an analysis of the ethical issues related to a policy or program.

We will always welcome your feedback, suggestions, ideas and links to resources.
To contact us, please just send a note:


Since our last update in January 2016, we have worked on developing three workshops that were held between March and June, we have continued to produce short summary versions of public health ethics frameworks as well as case studies, we have advanced a longer publication on paternalism (to appear in 2017), and we have planned several webinars for the coming months.
2015 was a busy year for us. As you may notice in the list of work below, we have focused much of our attention on ethics frameworks for public health over the past year.
In 2014, the Centre has been scaling up work in public health ethics. We have focused our efforts in five areas in which we will continue to work in 2015.
We would like to know about what areas of public health ethics are of interest to you.
May 2014. Description.
In our last update we wrote about three goals:
We are planning to continue our work in public health ethics by focusing on three goals in particular during 2013.
These days, we are inviting others to collectively discuss practical questions.
The development and implementation of measures, programs and policies to improve the health of populations raises many normative issues.
The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.