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Ethics: Overall

  • By: Nurit Guttman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Over centuries, philosophers have developed and presented various ethical theories, some grounded in theology or religious canon and some attributed to ancient Greek philosophers. These theories have served as the basis for articulating ethical principles that define moral duties and obligations and as guiding rules for making judgments on the moral worth of actions or policies. However, these principles might not ultimately serve as practical guides because they might be subject to alternative interpretations. Further, in certain situations, adhering to one principle might conflict with another, thus creating ethical dilemmas. Some of these principles are of particular relevance to the health context and, by implication, to health communication. Health communication inherently concerns ethical issues because its decisions are invariably about people's privacy or their autonomy ...

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