American College of Epidemiology Ethics Guidelines

Foundations and Dissemination

Published in: Science and Engineering Ethics, v. 9, no. 2, Apr. 2003, p. 207-214

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2003

by Robert E. McKeown, Douglas L. Weed, Jeffrey P. Kahn, Michael A. Stoto

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Access further information on this document at www.acepidemiology2.org

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Epidemiology is a core science of public health, focusing on research related to the distribution and determinants of both positive and adverse health states and events and on application of knowledge gained to improve public health. The American College of Epidemiology (ACE) is a professional organization devoted to the professional practice of epidemiology. As part of that commitment, and in response to concerns for more explicit attention to core values and duties of epidemiologists in light of emerging issues and increased scrutiny of epidemiology, the College developed, adopted, and published a set of Ethics Guidelines. The structure of the ACE ethics guidelines is in four parts: (1) a brief statement of core values and duties of epidemiologists, coupled with the virtues important to professional practice; (2) concise statements of key duties and obligations; (3) exposition of the duties and obligations with more applications; and (4) a brief summary and conclusion. The Guidelines have been published on the ACE website and in the official College journal Annals of Epidemiology. The guidelines contain (and maintain) core elements that define the discipline of epidemiology and its fundamental duties, but they are also intended to be dynamic and evolving, responsive to a changing professional and social environment.

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