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Policies should be informed by sound evidence from a variety of sources.

  • Policymakers should base their decisions on the best available evidence at any given time. WHO Ethics in Pandemic Flu
  • In considering whether to adopt particular public health strategies, countries should rely on the best available scientific evidence. WHO Ethics in Pandemic Flu
  • Sound guidelines should be based on the best available scientific evidence. CDC Ethics in Pandemic Flu
  • The current knowledge basis should serve as a foundation for ethical guidelines and a commitment to ongoing scientific and ethical evaluation of interventions should be made. CDC Ethics in Pandemic Flu
  • The analysis of objective physiological data creates less variation in triage decisions than subjective considerations would create. Indiana University
  • The inclusion of health care workers in the various levels of the policy-making process, as well as the presence of communication mechanisms, allows policymakers to address the workers promptly regarding any misinterpretations of the protocol. Indiana University
  • Health care professionals’ input in the decision-making process, in addition to the presence of communication mechanisms that allow for the expression of dissatisfaction by the health care professionals, allows for the iterative evaluation and improvement of the protocol. Indiana University
  • Promote cross-disciplinary collaboration to define community problems and identify causal factors or social determinants of health. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.1.1.
  • Balance perceived needs with expressed and expert-defined needs to improve community health. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.1.3.
  • Emphasize that scientific evidence comes in different forms with different degrees of certainty and probability. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.2.
  • Evaluate the strength and appropriateness of different types of evidence. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.4.
  • Ensure data validity, account for the limitations of available data, determine statistical thresholds for defining significance, and take steps to assist others who use the data, including the media and policymakers, so they will not draw inappropriate conclusions regarding cause and effect. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.2.4.
  • Employ the best available evidence to guide public health work. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.1.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest that could interfere with the willingness to acknowledge public health threats. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.2.2.
  • Give special attention to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of individuals when gathering data, collect only data elements and specimens necessary for disease control or protection, and remove personal identifying information from the data set as soon as it is no longer needed. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.2.5.
  • Require reporting of findings promptly, especially to individuals and community partners who contributed data to the investigation. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.2.7.
  • Recognize and acknowledge when evidence is changing or incomplete and when assumptions or contexts change the relevance of evidence. APHA Code of Ethics, 4.10.5.