General principles and practice of the ethics of public health surveillance: comments on the situation in Italy


The “WHO guidelines on ethical issues in public health surveillance” were ublished shortly after the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers published a Decree (3rd March, 2017) regarding surveillance systems and registries. The WHO document is a comprehensive framework of international import that forms a compendium of ethical principles to underlie public health surveillance. Although the Italian Decree is in line with the guidelines it contains no reference to mechanisms to ensure ethical surveillance, which instead are recommended in the WHO document. Ethics Committees would appear the most suitable candidates to fill this role.


Bioethics, guidelines, health surveillance, legislation, public health

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