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Keywords:

  • ethics;
  • human rights;
  • law

Abstract

Public health nursing has a code of ethics that guides practice. This includes the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses, Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health, and the Scope and Standards of Public Health Nursing. Human rights and Rights-based care in public health nursing practice are relatively new. They reflect human rights principles as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and applied to public health practice. As our health care system is restructured and there are new advances in technology and genetics, a focus on providing care that is ethical and respects human rights is needed. Public health nurses can be in the forefront of providing care that reflects an ethical base and a rights-based approach to practice with populations.