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About me

The public health rules

If someone asked me to write some 21st century public health rules, I wonder what I’d include? I think it depends what “rules” means – if compulsory, they’d be rather different from my public health “recommendations”.

I’m a strong believer in giving people informed choice, even when their choices result in outcomes which are detrimental to their health. After all, even as someone working in the field, it’s not like I prioritise my health over other concerns in every decision I make.

That said, there are a lot of rules and regulations which form an important part of public health, attempting to force people to stop putting others’ health at risk – health and safety regulations, speed limits, laws around the supply of wholesome mains water.

And then there are area which are contentious, where people’s actions do impact on others health in an avoidable way, but where our society nonetheless prioritises free choice over our collective health: driving highly polluting vehicles in built up areas, burning fossil fuels in residential areas, and irresponsibly marketing products likely to be harmful to health. It’s here where interesting conversations lie.

This 2,386th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2019.

Some recently published posts

What I’ve been reading this month / September 2019, 6 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / August 2019, 7 minutes long

A flying visit to Copenhagen / July 2019, 9 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Reflecting on my first ten years as a doctor / June 2019, 8 minutes long

Some random old posts

Suspected human-to-human bird flu transmission in Vietnam / January 2005, Less than a minute long

Even more Ignorance / November 2003, 1 minute long

Toilets are on the house! Toilets for Everybody! / March 2005, Less than a minute long

EA considers TV show based on ‘Sims’ / January 2005, Less than a minute long

Summer Books: Get Dead by Jamie Oliver / August 2008, 3 minutes long

Rover’s Crisis / April 2005, 3 minutes long


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