This document defines public health and reviews the history and development of public health ethics, including its philosophical underpinnings.

This paper, by Dr. Marjorie MacDonald of the University of Victoria, offers a brief survey of the field of public health ethics through the questions, What is public health? Who is the public in public health? and What is public health ethics? and by considering how public health ethics is very distinct from health care ethics.

Introduction to Public Health Ethics 1: Background
11 pages

This document, the first of three, is based on a previously published book chapter. We thank Pearson Canada for permission to adapt and publish the material from that chapter.