This document, based on a longer briefing note, is intended to help public health actors to conduct an ethical analysis of policies that are said to be paternalistic.
Public health interventions are regularly accused of “paternalism,” because they tend to use the power of the state on behalf of the health of individuals to compel them to modify their behaviour. The purpose of this document is to equip public health actors to conduct an ethical analysis of policies that are said to be paternalistic. It aims to provide the conceptual tools needed to identify paternalistic policies and assess the ethical burden with which they may be associated. The document also offers practitioners a clear and structured approach intended to guide ethical deliberation about paternalistic policies.
This framework is an adaptation of the briefing note entitled How Can We (and Why Should We) Analyze the Ethics of Paternalistic Policies in Public Health? (Bellefleur & Keeling, 2018). It aims to promote practical use of the ideas from that longer document.