The Online Journal of Health Ethics is a multidisciplinary journal, which seeks to publish original research findings in the field of Public Health ranging from General Practice Nursing to behavioral health or public health and policy. The purpose of this journal is to provide a forum for the expression of ethics related to health in a scholarly format. Works to be considered for publication include, but are not limited to, article reviews, poems, letters to editors, book reviews, commentaries, short stories, full length articles, and case studies from authors in Nursing, Public Health and Policy, Nutrition, Social Work, and other disciplines that work with or are committed to improving the lives of individuals from a holistic worldview.


The library contains articles of the Online Journal of Health Ethics as of 1(2004) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Leadership in the Health Sector: A Discourse of the Leadesrhip Model of Utilitarianism

    Udofia, Dr. Christopher Alexander (The Aquila Digital Community, 2017-01-01)
    This research work with the title, “Leadership in the Health Sector: A Discourse of the Leadership Model of Utilitarianism,” is concerned with examining the appropriateness of Utilitarianism as a leadership model that may be employed and utilized by leaders in the public health industry. The research is predicated on the proposition that leadership is as much a problem in the health industry as it is for all humanity. Most leaderships fail due to the employment of inappropriate leadership theories. The appropriateness of any leadership model can only be determined after the model has been subjected to adequate critical analysis. Hence this research adopts the philosophical methods of exposition and criticism in unravelling its subject matter. This research is significant in exposing a leadership model with an underlying ethical content which can serve as a paradigm for leadership and decision making in the health industry. The paper identifies the control and management of HIV/AIDS as well as the enhancement of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) coverage in third world countries as critical health issues that can be strengthened through the adoption of the leadership paradigm of utilitarianism. The paper concludes that the utilitarian normative axiom of the greatest happiness for the greatest number will ultimately lead to the engendering of democratic culture in the policy and decision making processes bordering on health issues. However, the work cautions that the majority principle enshrined in axiom of utilitarianism is all too vulnerable to abuse by any leader with a totalitarian bent. Hence a leader who adopts utilitarianism as a normative principle is advised against allowing the good of the majority to always supersede and dominate that of the minority.
  • The Morality of Same Sex Marriage: How Not to Globalize a Cultural Anomie

    Akpan, Chris O. (The Aquila Digital Community, 2017-01-01)
    The question of the morality of same-sex marriage has become quite prevalent in the 21st century. Some western cultures believe that same-sex marriage is morally defensible and can be legalized. Using the human right fad and political might, they subtly engineer the globalization of this phenomenon. This move has been strongly opposed mostly by ‘developing’ nations and some churches across nations. The argument of such group is that same-sex marriage is immoral, unnatural and ungodly. This paper defends the thesis that same-sex marriage cannot morally be defended successfully. It shows that same-sex marriage is not exclusively a western phenomenon but has been in practice for a long time even in some African cultures; though in some subtle way. It argues that in whatever way it is practiced same-sex marriage is a cultural anomie: and more or less an elixir and alibi, aimed at concealing immorality. The paper concludes that it is wrong for some cultures to attempt a globalization of this cultural anomie especially by hinging its morality on the human right doctrine. The paper is expository, speculative, critical and evaluative in approach.
  • Right or Duty: A Kantian Argument for Universal Healthcare

    Crisp, Joseph (The Aquila Digital Community, 2017-01-01)
    Much of the political rhetoric about healthcare in the United States is couched in terms of healthcare as a right or entitlement. Healthcare as a right, like all welfare rights, carries with it the obligation to pay for it. This paper proposes that healthcare be considered, not a right, but rather a duty within the framework of a Kantian approach to ethics. The categorical imperatives of rational beings include the duties of self-preservation and self-development. As a precondition for these duties, health is essentially bound up with the nature and duties of physical, rational beings. The complexity of healthcare ensures that virtually all persons will need the services of others, and the expense of healthcare can exceed the resources even of those who are insured. Therefore, a just society has a moral duty to ensure access to healthcare to all of its members.
  • The Confluence of Philosophy And Biology: An Excavation of Philosophical Issues in Molecular and Developmental Biology

    Mendie, Patrick Johnson; Emmanuel Bassey Eyo (Ph.D) (The Aquila Digital Community, 2016-01-01)
    Philosophical evaluations have played an influential role in the growth and development of molecular and developmental biology to ensure that every individual is born healthy, born wanted and has the privilege to fulfil his or her potentials for a life free from disease and disability. This is why it becomes necessary for biologists to carefully understand human genes, evolution, cells and general human anatomy to fulfil this project. During this process, they are faced with challenges where they also lack the foundation on how to solve them. This challenge gave birth to a philosophical excavation of molecular and developmental biology. This paper is an attempt to expose that philosophy is a major tool in proffering possible solutions to issues related to biology through one of the new dimension in philosophy namely philosophy of biology. It is one of the most exciting new areas in the field of philosophy which is attracting much attention in the contemporary philosophical studies. In this paper, we posit that issues in molecular and developmental biology will be of success when the fundamental tools of philosophy are being taken into consideration cognizant that philosophy and biology viz-a-viz philosophy of biology, can be seen as a single inquiry into the nature of man-well-being.
  • Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and the Academic Health Center: A Tale of the Urban Working Poor and the Violation of a Covert Covenant, an American Perspective

    Papadimos, Thomas J., M.D., M.P.H. (The Aquila Digital Community, 2006-01-01)
    Charles Dickens’ novel “Hard Times” focuses on the struggles of urban workers in 19th century England. The situations of workers in 21st century America are not dissimilar thus making Dickens’ commentary and characters applicable to the contemporary socioeconomic scene. The number of uninsured or underinsured poor in America is rising. AHCs must go beyond their traditional mission of patient care, education and research and embrace the local neighborhoods they serve. The urban location, technical expertise, and educational mission of many AHCs make them ideally suited to assist urban populations that are at great health risk. Many Academic Health Centers (AHCs) in America found their origins in working class neighborhoods, such as those described by Dickens, and today are surrounded by the urban poor. An argument is made that AHCs have a moral obligation to these neighborhoods; it is an implied, or covert, covenant that they are obliged to honor.
  • Noetic Propaedeutic Pedagogy as a Panacea to the Problem of Abortion

    Bisong, Peter B. (The Aquila Digital Community, 2016-01-01)
    This work is instigated by the increase in the number of countries that have legalized abortion and the ones debating over the issue. Even most countries where abortion is illegal like Nigeria are experiencing increase in cases of abortion. The author is worried that the danger of abortion is seemingly not taken note of by stakeholders, thereby leading him to believe alongside Asouzu that the constraining mechanisms have clouded the minds of men, and impeding them from seeing reality in a complementary way. The noetic propaedeutic pedagogy as propounded by Asouzu is the self-conscious retraining of the mind to overcome bifurcation and polarization. It is recommended as a way of correcting this defective mindset, so as to make the mind better fit to see reality in a complementary mode, and thereby help it to see the need to accord respect and rights to the foetus.
  • Ebola Scare and Measles Resurgence: Mandatory Isolation/quarantine and Vaccination

    Aita, Mark C, MD; Ragland, Takeem T, MA (The Aquila Digital Community, 2015-01-01)
    Public outcry for radical isolation and quarantine policies followed the first Ebola diagnosis in the United States when Eric Duncan, upon his return home Oct 2014 from West Africa, then in the midst of a catastrophic Ebola epidemic, tested positive for Ebola. Likewise, the Dec 2014 Disneyland measles outbreak unleashed an angry backlash against parents who refused to have their children vaccinated; and there was public momentum to repeal all legal exemptions to mandatory vaccination of school children. This paper presents an ethical and legal analysis to adjudicate the issue which is at stake in both controversies; namely the inherent conflict between individual rights v. public health when the nation is threatened by serious communicable disease. It presents reasoned arguments, weighing duty-based v. consequence-maximizing ethical principles of right action through application of the felicity calculus (net utility). And the paper demonstrates how the metaethical theory of emotivism is operative in formation and expression of public sentiment which fueled the ethical and legal deliberations.
  • At a Crossroads: Social Work, Conscientious Objection, and Religious Liberty Laws

    Mongan, Philip (The Aquila Digital Community, 2018-05-01)
    Recently several states have passed legislation allowing conscientious objection for social workers. Due to the potential impact on the profession that these policies carry, it is critical that this issue be explored and discussed within the social work profession. This article examines the arguments for and against conscientious objection, discusses the use of conscientious objection in other professions, and the explores the potential options and consequences for social work. The argument is made that the profession of social work should seek to define itself and its values related to conscientious objection before outside forces make the decision for us.
  • Health Beliefs of Muslim Women and Implications for Health Care Providers: Exploratory Study on the Health Beliefs of Muslim Women

    Walton, Lori Maria, PhD, DPT; Akram, RDMS, BS, Fatima; Hossain, BBA, Ferdosi (The Aquila Digital Community, 2014-01-01)
    Abstract: Purpose: This study investigated specific health beliefs of Muslim women and their decision to access and follow through with health care provider evaluation and treatment. Design and Methods: This was a cross-sectional prospective research design aimed at exploring the beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes of Muslim women living in USA toward health. A purposive sampling of fourteen (n=14) Muslim women who volunteered to take part in this study completed a survey of health beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions constructed from Purnell's cultural competence model. Results: Results suggest that Muslim women perceive specific health beliefs as important and may have an effect on their participation in medical and health evaluation and treatment. Conclusion and Discussion: Health beliefs of Muslim women should be considered and future research explored in for health care practice.
  • Ethical Considerations of Nonmedical Preconception Gender Selection Research

    Sternke, Lisa Marie, PhD(c), MSN, RN (The Aquila Digital Community, 2010-07-16)
    Technological advances in reproductive science now afford prospective parents the ability to potentially choose the gender of their infant prior to conception; however, the bioethical considerations of preconception gender selection (PGS) research remain an ongoing debate in the scientific community. Opponents of PGS research argue it is unethical as it has the potential to cause a sex ratio imbalance, its availability is restricted to those with financial means, it promotes gender discrimination, and it may lead to further genetic discrimination based on desired traits (eugenics). Proponents of PGS research argue it is a parental right to choose the sex of a child, it could reduce atrocities toward unwanted children and the number of abortions, and it could assist in family balancing. Based on eleven bioethical concepts, it appears researchers may be unethically capitalizing on the emotional vulnerability of prospective parents in order to further genetic research into PGS for nonmedical reasons.
  • Fostering Self Efficacy as an Ethical Mandate in Health Promotion Practice and Research

    Hendricks, Constance S.; Hendricks, Denisha L.; Webb, Shelia J.; Davis, Janice Bonner; Spencer-Morgan, Barbara (The Aquila Digital Community, 2005-01-01)
    Self-efficacy, a social psychology concept, is defined as the likelihood of an individual engaging in health behaviors. Correctly understood, authors posit that health care providers and researchers have an ethical mandate to foster self-efficacy in patients. Further, self-efficacy promotes the commonly ascribed moral principles of respect for the person as a being of worth and fosters autonomy. This paper provides an overview of the concept of self-efficacy, provides a brief discussion on the difference between self-esteem and self-efficacy, and discusses its relationship to health promotion and selected moral principles. Health care providers and researchers are challenged to foster self-efficacy among patients and others as a means to facilitate health promotion. The continuous ethical challenge for health care providers, health promotion advocates and researchers is to remain mindful of the complexity of the opportunity to empower others, the privilege to improve the quality of life for others and the responsibility to remain true to the ethical principles at all times. Consideration of self-efficacy as an ethical mandate remains a vital element within health promotion practice and research.
  • Ethical Issues in Scientific Research in Developing Countries

    Singh, Abhinav, BDS, MDS, Ph.D.; Purohit, Bharathi, MDS, Ph.D. (The Aquila Digital Community, 2011-04-20)
    Ethics is a cornerstone of dental research, and, for that matter, any research. Authorship in scientific research is an important issue which requires considerable discussion and debate. The pressure to publish is well-established in the university community. Faculty member’s performance and promotion are judged by the number of published articles in academic or scholarly journals. Most of the dental schools or universities in India do not have an ethics committee. Ethical issues like informed consent and ethics committee clearance are being taken for granted. That is, these words are mentioned in the manuscript or research paper, without the actual consent or clearance being given. The authors submit that these infringements may be made knowingly and/or unknowingly. The misconduct in research and publication not only affects other authors, but reviewers and editors, as well. However, the worst sufferer is the patient.
  • CSR activity of tobacco companies in Indonesia: Is it a genuine social responsibility?

    Tandilittin, Harsman; Luetge, Christoph (The Aquila Digital Community, 2015-08-03)
    The adoption of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in the tobacco industry has sparked a contentious debate in the international community. Tobacco industry’s CSR activities are honored by the government and Indonesian community with CSR awards due to their positive contributions. To assess the CSR activities of the tobacco companies and whether they are genuine forms of social responsibility or business motivation, we have collected the CSR activities and compared them with the negative impact of the tobacco industry in Indonesia. The CSR activities are in no way related to the negative impacts of tobacco in Indonesia. Therefore, CSR programs in the tobacco industry are not a form of corporate social responsibility but are purely a business motivation. In order to be socially responsible enterprises, tobacco companies should be more required by the government and society to lead their CSR programs to address the negative impacts of tobacco.
  • Ethical Implications of Treatment for Gender Dysphoria in Youth

    Hayes, Kelsey (The Aquila Digital Community, 2018-11-01)
    This manuscript explores ethical implications on treatment for youth with diagnosed gender dysphoria. The ethical considerations outlined and analyzed in this essay involve illuminating an understanding of whether the administration of pubertal suppression with GnRH agonists, and cross-sex hormones to children with gender dysphoria is morally justified as treatment to manage their psychological distress, or if safer more understood alternatives exist. This essay emphasizes that as health care professionals we must ensure youth with gender dysphoria receive adequate medical treatment and care however, this essay concludes through extensive literature review, that the use of inconclusive and under researched methods to manage gender dysphoria cannot be ethically justified and therefore should be re-evaluated.
  • Euthanasia, Assisted-Suicide, and Palliative Sedation: A Brief Clarification and Reinforcement of the Moral Logic

    DePergola, Peter A., II (The Aquila Digital Community, 2018-11-01)
    A persistent misunderstanding of the moral distinctions between the practices of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and palliative sedation suggests a critical need to revisit the relationship each shares with licit medical practice in the context of palliative care. To that end, this essay grounds its arguments in two, straightforward premises: (i) the licitness of medical practice is largely determined by the balance between (a) good ends, (b) proportionate means, (c) appropriate circumstances, and (d) benevolent intentions; and (ii) whereas palliative sedation employs criteria A-D (above), both euthanasia and assisted suicide fail to secure criteria A-C. Drawing from this syllogism, the aim and proposal of this essay is to examine the logic inherent to the practices of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and palliative sedation in the context of palliative care with the intention of positing the argument that while palliative sedation fulfills the requirements of morally licit medical practice – and so successfully executes the tenets of sound ethical logic – both euthanasia and assisted suicide do not.
  • Legalization Of Euthanasia And Physician-Assisted Dying: Condemnation Of Physician Participation

    Mazloom, Samira; Hamidian Jahromi, Alireza; Bastani, Bahar (The Aquila Digital Community, 2017-01-01)
    The topic of physician-assisted dying has always been a controversial topic raising a strong ethical dilemma. Currently six states in USA (Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Montana, California, Colorado) have developed regulations legalizing physician-assisted dying (medical euthanasia). We propose that physicians, because of their Hippocratic oath, should be exempted of participating in it. We suggest experts in professional assisted dying (“Euthanasia Specialists”) be ethically and to some degree medically trained to perform such a task when deemed appropriate.
  • Childhood Obesity: Physiological and Psychological Implications and Ethical Responsibilities

    Lewis, Connie S (The Aquila Digital Community, 2017-01-01)
    Childhood obesity continues to be a health concern in the United States with physiological and psychological consequences. Research conducted in schools may address the physiological effects and exacerbate negative psychological effects, including weight bias and stigmatization. In the home, children are dependent on parents/caregivers to provide a healthy diet and exhibit a healthy lifestyle.The ethical theory, ethics of care, emphasizes dependence and interdependence on others, and ethical and moral responsibilities in the parent/child relationship. The assurance of ethical considerations involving children in research and parental provision for healthy dietary provision is of utmost importance. Any action or inaction that results in harm for this vulnerable population, whether perpetrated by the parents or researchers, is concerning..
  • Worldwide Ethics 2017

    Dr. Sheila Davis (The Aquila Digital Community, 2017-01-01)
    Editor's introduction to Volume 13, Issue 1 of the Online Journal of Health Ethics.
  • A Study on Legal and Ethical Issues Surrounding Health Practitioner Pro Bono Services

    Khan, Lori, MS, CLT, DPT (The Aquila Digital Community, 2010-12-14)
    The purpose of this paper is to explore the legal and ethical implications of pro bono health care services in the United States and abroad. The research regarding volunteer or pro bono health services has focused mainly on physician involvement in volunteer medical services, or pro bono health services, with research showing only 39% of physicians, compared to 30% of general public, taking part in volunteer services to patients and the community (Grande, D, and Armstrong, K, 2007). Historically, pro bono services were derived from the Canons of Professional Ethics in 1908 and evolved into the Model Code of Professional Responsibility in 1969 and finally the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in 1983. The World Health Organization developed the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health in 2005, which include the following goals: (1) Improving living conditions (2) Addressing the inequitable distribution of power, money, and resources, and (3) Measuring and understanding the related problems (WHO, 2008). In the final report, the four areas of concern included socioeconomic factors, patient health care accessibility, health care rationing, and patient advocacy. Pro bono health services are one method of addressing the health care accessibility and socioeconomic factors surrounding the current dilemma in health care.
  • Underserved R Undeserved?

    Davis, Sheila P., Ph.D., RN (The Aquila Digital Community, 2005-01-01)

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