Public Health Ethics and Disability: Centering Disability Justice

Bill Gaventa, Devan Stahl, Katherine McDonald

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

5 Scopus citations


The inclusion of disability as an important and far-reaching social factor, and disability justice as part of any framework of public health ethics, advances successful approaches to achieving the aims of public health. The ethical issues raised by people with disabilities in public health are not unique to them. In fact, infusing explicit attention to disability justice into public health ethics can light the way for everyone. The accommodations and strategies used to include people with disabilities have wider applicability that can address thorny public health issues, such as universal design for learning and person-centered planning. Addressing ethical issues that touch the lives of people with disabilities within the framework of disability justice and the newly revised and adopted Code of Ethics of the American Public Health Association provides an opportunity for public health professionals to live out this impressive code. Those more focused on disability and ethics now have the opportunity to learn from this revised Code’s emphasis on understanding the ways that history impacts health care and the importance of seeking community input, especially that of communities that have often been disenfranchised at every stage of the assessment, program development, and evaluation of public health initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPublic Health Perspectives on Disability
Subtitle of host publicationScience, Social Justice, Ethics, and Beyond, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781071608883
ISBN (Print)9781071608876
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • APHA Code of Ethics
  • Disability
  • Disability justice
  • Ethics
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology
  • General Nursing


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