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Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 56 p.The WHO Guidelines on Ethical Issues in Public Health Surveillance is the first international framework of its kind, it fills an important gap. The goal of the guideline development project was to help policymakers and practitioners navigate the ethical issues presented by public health surveillance. This document outlines 17 ethical guidelines that can assist everyone involved in public health surveillance, including officials in government agencies, health workers, NGOs and the private sector. Surveillance, when conducted ethically, is the foundation for programs to promote human well-being at the population level. It can contribute to reducing inequalities: pockets of suffering that are unfair, unjust and preventable cannot be addressed if they are not first made visible. But surveillance is not without risks for participants and sometimes poses ethical dilemmas. Issues about privacy, autonomy, equity, and the common good need to be considered and balanced, and knowing how to do so can be challenging in practice.
Quality of care in contraceptive information and services, based on human rights standards: a checklist for health care providers.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 32 p.Unmet need for contraception remains high in many settings, and is highest among the most vulnerable in society: adolescents, the poor, those living in rural areas and urban slums, people living with HIV, and internally displaced people. The latest estimates are that 225 million women have an unmet need for modern contraception, and the need is greatest where the risks of maternal mortality are highest. There is increasing recognition that promotion and protection of human rights in contraceptive services and programs is critical to addressing this challenge. However, despite these efforts, human rights are often not explicitly integrated into the design, implementation and monitoring of services. A key challenge is how to best support health care providers and facility managers at the point of service delivery, often in low-resource real-world settings, to ensure their use of human rights aspects in provision of contraceptive services. The point of service delivery is the most direct point of contact where potential violations/omissions of rights come into play and requires special attention. This checklist covers five areas of competence needed by health care providers to provide quality of care in contraceptive information and services including: respecting users’ privacy and guaranteeing confidentiality, choice, accessible and acceptable services, involvement of users in improving services and fostering continuity of care and follow-up. International and regional human rights treaties, national constitutions and laws provide guarantees specifically relating to access to contraceptive information, commodities and services. In addition, over the past few decades, international, regional and national legislative and human rights bodies have increasingly applied human rights to contraceptive information and services. They recommend, among other actions, that states should ensure timely and affordable access to good quality sexual and reproductive health information and services, including contraception, which should be delivered in a way that ensures fully informed decision making, respects dignity, autonomy, privacy and confidentiality, and is sensitive to individuals’ needs and perspectives. This document presents a user friendly checklist specifically addressed to health care providers, at the primary health care level, who are involved in the direct provision of contraceptive information and services. It is complimentary to WHO guidelines on Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services: Guidance and recommendations, and the Implementation Guide published jointly with UNFPA in 2015. This checklist also builds on WHO vision document on Standards for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal and Newborn Care and its ongoing work under the Quality, Equity and Dignity initiative. The checklist should be read along with other guidance from WHO and also from partners.
Quality of care in contraceptive information and services, based on human rights standards: a checklist for health care providers.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 32 p.International and regional human rights treaties, national constitutions and laws provide guarantees specifically relating to access to contraceptive information, commodities and services. In addition, over the past few decades, international, regional and national legislative and human rights bodies have increasingly applied human rights to contraceptive information and services. This document presents a user friendly checklist specifically addressed to health care providers, at the primary health care level, who are involved in the direct provision of contraceptive information and services. It is complimentary to WHO guidelines on Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services: Guidance and recommendations, and the Implementation Guide published jointly with UNFPA in 2015. This checklist also builds on WHO vision document on Standards for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal and Newborn Care and its ongoing work under the Quality, Equity and Dignity initiative. The checklist should be read along with other guidance from WHO and also from partners.
London, United Kingdom, IPPF, 2011 Mar.  p.Confidentiality is crucial in the provision of youth friendly services. Privacy and confidentiality are distinct concepts. Confidentiality ensures privacy. The promotion of young people's sexual and reproductive health can only be achieved through providing confidential services that encourage them to seek preventative care and counselling.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2012.  p. (Global Observatory for eHealth Series Vol. 5)Given that privacy of the doctor-patient relationship is at the heart of good health care, and that the electronic health record (EHR) is at the heart of good eHealth practice, the question arises: Is privacy legislation at the heart of the EHR? The second global survey on eHealth conducted by the Global Observatory for eHealth (GOe) set out to answer that question by investigating the extent to which the legal frameworks in the Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) address the need to protect patient privacy in EHRs as health care systems move towards leveraging the power of EHRs to deliver safer, more efficient, and more accessible health care. (Excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2000 Jul. 47 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection. Key Material; UNAIDS/00.28E)Surveillance is the radar of public health. Nevertheless, its precise contours and justifications remain a matter of contention. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) Epidemiological Surveillance Unit in the Division of Communicable Diseases has defined disease surveillance quite broadly, most public health authorities, such as the United States Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and the World Health Assembly, typically identify three key elements of surveillance. Surveillance involves the ongoing, systematic collection of health data, the evaluation and interpretation of these data for the purpose of shaping public health practice and outcomes, and the prompt dissemination of the results to those responsible for disease prevention and control. Surveillance, then, encompasses more than just disease reporting. "The critical challenge in public health surveillance today," conclude two prominent figures who have helped to define surveillance in the United States, "remains the ensurance of its usefulness." Two issues emerge from this understanding of surveillance. The first entails a question of efficacy. The second involves matters of privacy. Although conceptually distinct, the two are nevertheless intimately related. While the necessities of surveillance may justifiably limit some elements of privacy, such limitations are only justifiable to the extent that they in fact benefit the public's health. (excerpt)
HIV testing of specific populations: recruits of the armed forces. Issue paper: 3rd Meeting, UNAIDS Global Reference Group on HIV / AIDS and Human Rights, 28-30 January 2004.
Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2004. 6 p.In 2001, the United Nations Security Council established an Expert Panel to study the issue of whether the UN should institute HIV testing of peacekeeping personnel. This article, based on a 9 July 2002 presentation to the 14th International AIDS Conference, reports on the findings of a paper prepared for the Expert Panel by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. The paper examined whether it is permissible for the UN to implement mandatory HIV testing of its peacekeeping personnel, and whether HIV-positive UN peacekeeping personnel should be excluded or restricted from service on the basis of their HIV status or HIV disease progression. The article describes some of the court cases in which these issues have been considered; discusses the importance of analyzing such issues in the context of a human rights–based approach to the pandemic; and formulates a series of key principles for guiding UN decision-making. The article concludes that a policy of mandatory HIV testing for all UN peacekeeping personnel cannot be justified on the basis that it is required in order to assess their physical and mental capacity for service; that HIV-positive peacekeeping personnel cannot be excluded from service based on their HIV status alone, but only on their ability to perform their duties; and that the UN cannot resort to mandatory HIV testing for all UN peacekeeping personnel to protect the health and safety of HIV-negative personnel unless it can demonstrate that alternatives to such a policy would not reduce the risk sufficiently. In the end, the Expert Panel unanimously rejected mandatory testing and instead endorsed voluntary HIV counselling and testing for UN peacekeeping personnel. (excerpt)
Putting women first: ethical and safety recommendations for research on domestic violence against women.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Gender and Women's Health, 2001. 31 p. (WHO/FCH/GWH/01.1)In order to guide future research in this area, the World Health Organization has developed the following recommendations regarding the ethical conduct of domestic violence research. These build on the collective experience of the International Research Network on Violence Against Women (IRNVAW). They have been reviewed and approved by the WHO Steering Committee for the Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women, and also reviewed by key members of the Scientific and Ethical Review Group (SERG) of the Special Programme on Research and Research Training on Human Reproduction (HRP). The recommendations are in addition to those outlined in the CIOMS International Guidelines for Ethical Review of Epidemiological Studies (1991). These recommendations are designed for use both by anyone intending to do research on domestic violence against women (such as investigators, project co-ordinators and others implementing such research), and also by those initiating or reviewing such research (such as donors, research ethical committees etc.). The guidelines focus on the specific ethical and safety issues associated with planning and conducting research on this topic. They do not intend to give general guidance or recommendations on the planning, methodology, and logistics of research on domestic violence against women, or issues associated with the ethical conduct of research in general. (The latter is addressed by the CIOMS Guidelines referred to above). These recommendations emerged from discussion of those prepared for the WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women. They focus in particular on the ethical and safety considerations associated with conducting population-based surveys on domestic violence against women. However, many of the principles identified are also applicable to other forms of quantitative and qualitative research on this issue. The recommendations were not written for research on other forms of violence against women, such as violence in conflict situations, or trafficking of women. Whilst it is likely that some aspects of the guidelines will be applicable in those situations, there may also be some important differences. (excerpt)
Journal of Tropical Pediatrics. 2003 Oct; 49(5):260.The year 2004 marks the 15th anniversary of the inception of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). At the time of its launch the Convention was lauded as a revolutionary and universally accepted shield for the protection of children and the promotion of a different kind of childhood—with the young taking a new role as participants in their future, whilst being given the advantage of full educational and health benefits. It was intended by the UN that the convention—which has now been signed by all countries in the world bar the US and Somalia—would push childhood into much greater prominence in government’s decision-making and would prevent the flagrant abuses of children’s lives which are so widely prevalent. So, has it succeeded and how does the convention affect paediatrics and child health? (excerpt)