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


The use of Incentives and the Promotion of Healthy Behaviours. The Case of Unhealthy Food
This paper is part of a series of essays developed for the NCCHPP by researchers associated with the Centre de recherche en éthique de l'Université de Montréal (Université de Montréal Research Centre in Ethics) as part of a project to examine ethical issues related to healthy public policy.
Published in May, 2009.  DescriptionDownload  544 K

Economic incentives are frequently employed as a means to implement public policy. For example, public authorities offer tax credits to encourage businesses to create jobs or to encourage individuals to use public transportation services, and many municipalities offer tax breaks to first-time home buyers.

In this text, Xavier Landes examines some ethical issues raised by the use of financial incentives to promote healthy eating habits.

The Use of Incentives and the Promotion of Healthy Behaviours    
20 pages
 544 K
Image - cover page of the publication - click to download

Let us know what you think

The essays developed for our ethics project present summary discussions of some contemporary ethical issues as they relate to various aspects of public policy and their impact on health. The goal is to encourage reflection on these issues among public health actors.

Thus, in order to extend debate, the following questions may be asked with respect to this text:

- Based on a reading of the paper, do you find this discussion convincing and appropriate?

- Does it allow the reader to weigh the ethical advantages and disadvantages of potential public policy actions?

It should be noted that the author's mandate was not to present an exhaustive analysis. Thus, while he looks closely at ethical issues related to social justice and utilitarianism, he does not consider other issues such as social labelling and discrimination in depth. Nor does the author consider the ethical issues related to moralizing over lifestyles in contemporary societies.

- Do you think that these latter avenues of ethical reflection should be explored? If so, in what way?


The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.