Health zones in Oregon: Exploring an ethical deliberation process in county public health

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Ethics, Medicine and Public Health


Clackamas County, an administrative division in the State of Oregon on the west coast of the United States, has provided training in ethics and a decision-making framework to members of its public health advisory committee in an attempt to develop an ethical deliberation mechanism in public health. The goal of this mechanism is to ensure that a process exists for the Public Health Division to review value-laden issues relating to policies impacting the community. By providing guidance to county public health leadership upon request through an open and transparent review process, the intended outcome is a culture of ethical awareness and high ethical standards. The first deliberation of this body addressed the ethical concerns relating to the implementation of mapped “public health zones”: a project intended to more effectively communicate public health data of communities within the county in smaller geographic units and using geographic information system (GIS) technology.


Biomedical Ethics


Population Health