This chapter considers the history of the rise of ethical concerns in the public health movement and epidemiology, which is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease in human populations. It explains that epidemiology is a basic science in public health. It also provides an overview of early developments in public health and ethics. The chapter looks at recent developments, including the origins of bioethics, regulatory safeguards for human subjects research, public health ethics, and contemporary epidemiological ethics. It begins with the end of the Middle Ages, wherein few advances were made in public health except for the control of a very limited number of communicable diseases achieved through the segregation and quarantine of persons thought to be infectious.
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