This document, produced by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Ethics Office, summarizes the proceedings from a Pre-conference workshop held during the Canadian Public Health Association’s annual Conference 2011.

The workshop was jointly organized by:

  • CIHR – Institute of Population and Public Health
  • CIHR Ethics Office
  • The National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (NCCHPP)
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) – Office of Public Health Practice
  • Public Health Ontario

The purpose of the gathering was to:
“Build capacity amongst workshop participants for population and public health ethics by considering the application of ethics principles to a hypothetical case study of relevance to population and public health research, policy, and practice; [and to] Stimulate discussion amongst workshop participants about ethics frameworks for population and public health” (from the report, pp. 1-2).

From Theory to Practice: Working Towards Common Principles and Frameworks for Population and Public Health Ethics
22 pages

Short summaries of keynote addresses from Dr. Nicholas King on Public Health Ethics Frameworks, and from Dr. Norman Daniels on Justice and a Public Health Ethics Framework help to put philosophical debates into context for the public health sector, and reaffirm the importance of discussion and working over ethical issues. Daniels notes that “a framework should not be treated as ‘an algorithm for getting answers’ ” but rather that disagreement is a part of working on ethical issues (from the report, p.14).

The report includes summaries from presentations/ discussions led by:
Dr. Don Willison (Public Health Ontario) Christopher McDougall (NCCHPP), Dr. Sarah Viehbeck (CIHR-IPPH) and Dr. Ryan Melnychuk (PHAC), as well as discussion and comments relating to ethical frameworks applied to a hypothetical case study on sodium reduction.

We would like to acknowledge the CIHR – Institute of Population and Public Health for taking the lead in organizing the workshop as well as the CIHR Ethics Office for their financial contribution to the preparation of this report by The Conference Publishers.