Engaging the Public for the Public's Health: The Center for Law, Ethics and Health
One of the first resources A2Ethics offered on our website was a map showing permanent ethics initiatives distinguishing our state. Notably unique among them in our view was--and still remains--The Center for Law, Ethics and Health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The Center was founded in 2005 and is directed by Peter Jacobson, Professor of Health Law and Policy.
Yes...we admit to being unabashed admirers of his research, and the work of his colleagues. What is most appealing to us is his commitment and interest in educating the public--that is us--about how ethics ideas and laws impact and influence health care institutions and professions, as well as our own health practices. Consider a few recent Center-oriented research problems we discussed:
How do definitions of ethics influence public health officers in Michigan to make decisions about distributing scarce health care dollars and resources?
How does training and experience in a particular health field affect the understanding of emergency preparedness, and potentially outcomes, in mass casualty situations?
Throughout our conversation, engaging the public to improve the public's health was never far from Professor Jacobson's thinking.
And to our way of thinking, just as public health professionals research, test and apply new vaccinations and drugs to prevent epidemics, The Center and Professor Jacobson are researching ethical beliefs, testing and applying new approaches to the law, to improve the public's health.