The aim of EuroPHEN was to derive a framework for producing common approaches to public health policy across Europe. Little work has been done on integrating ethical analysis with empirical research, especially on trade-offs between private and public interests. The disciplines of philosophy and public policy have been weakly connected. Much of the thinking on public health ethics has hitherto been conducted in the United States of America, and an ethical framework for public health within Europe would need to reflect the greater respect for values such as solidarity and integrity which are more highly valued in Europe. Towards this aim EuroPHEN compared the organisation of public health structures and public policy responses to selected public health problems in Member States to examine how public policy in different countries weighs competing claims of private and public interest. Ethical analysis was performed of tensions between the private and public interest in the context of various ethical theories, principles and traditions. During autumn 2003, 96 focus groups were held across 16 European Union Member States exploring public attitudes and values to public versus private interests. The groups were constructed to allow examination of differences in attitudes between countries and demographic groups (age, gender, smoking status, educational level and parental and marital status). Focus group participants discussed issues such as attitudes to community; funding of public services; rights and responsibilities of citizens; rules and regulations; compulsory car seat belts; policies to reduce tobacco consumption; Not-In-My-Back-Yard arguments; banning of smacking of children; legalising cannabis and parental choice with regards to immunisation. This project proposes a preliminary framework and stresses that a European policy of Public Health will have to adopt a complex, pluralistic and dynamic goal structure, capable of accommodating variations in what specific goals should be prioritised in the specific socio-economic settings of individual countries.
|Publisher||EuroPHEN: European Public Health Ethics Network|
|Commissioning body||European Commission DGV|
|Number of pages||304|
|Publication status||Published - 31 Aug 2006|
- Public opinion
- Public Health
- European Union (EU)