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Public Health Ethics

The Faculty of Public Health's Ethics Special Interest Group (SIG) is a forum for public health professionals to consider and support the professional and ethical requirements for public health.

We are a growing network which encourages and facilitates our members to explore theoretical ethics and the practical application of ethics in public health practice and decision making.  

The conversations and resources uploaded here aim to advance our training and education, as required in the Public Health Knowledge and Skills Framework, and provide an academic and practical resource for our day-to-day ethical dilemmas.

The Special Interest Group also acts as a coordinating platform and resource for the regional ethics fora.

There are a number of regional ethics for a which aim to advance the discussion locally of ethics in public health. Please contact the chair of the Special Interest Group, Farhang Tahzib, at who will put you in touch with the current local forum coordinator.

UK Public health knowledge skills framework

Public Health Ethics in Practice, Coggon, J. and Viens, A.M.

Scottish Public Health Ethics Forum 


The group reports to the Faculty’s Ethics Committee and the SIG's chair and main contact is Farhang Tahzib:

Join the Public Health Ethics SIG

FPH members can join this SIG by logging into their FPH members’ portal account, selecting the ‘Committees/SIGs’ button and choosing the correct SIG. You will then be asked to provide a few details, following which your application will be automatically approved. Further details on FPH membership are available here.

Webinar recordings

Climate change, public health and the right to health

Climate change is a public health emergency. It is the single biggest threat to global health, peace, and security, a crisis multiplier, and a significant driver of health inequalities. Human right-based approaches are essential for good public health policies and practice, including action to address climate change.

This webinar took place on 20 February 2024 and was the first in a series offered by the UK Faculty of Public Health, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Global Network for Academic Public Health (GNAPH), Groningen Centre for Health Law (GCHL), European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and other partners to build understanding, competence, and capacity on human rights-based approaches for good public health policy and practice.

Recent publications

1. The Nanny State Debate

Farhang Tahzib, Chair of the FPH Ethics SIG, commissioned a new report - The Nanny State Debate - to help inform and guide public health professionals on what the nanny state debate means and how to positively tackle conversations that ridicule the introduction or consideration of specific public health interventions. Written by Professor John Coggon, the report aims to shift the debate from the negative connotations that come with the nanny state label to the positive opportunities that come with people’s right to health. Click here to read the full report.

2. Migration, diversity and health

The Ethical dimensions of migration, diversity, and health - roundtable discussion (January 2018)

3.  Statement on public health ethics and COVID-19

Tacking the Social, Professional and Political Challenges of COVID-19: The Crucial Role of Public Health Ethics (May 2020)

Become a Member

Become a Member

FPH is the professional home for public health in the UK and abroad. We support over 5,000 members across all career stages enabling them to drive the profession forward and achieve our vision of improving public health.

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