Behavior Change Or Empowerment : On the Ethics of Health Promotion Goals

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Behavior Change Or Empowerment : On the Ethics of Health Promotion Goals

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dc.contributor.author Tengland, Per-Anders
dc.date.accessioned 2013-11-04T13:07:20Z
dc.date.issued 2016 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1065-3058 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2043/16068
dc.description.abstract One important ethical issue for health promotion and public health work is to determine what the goals for these practices should be. This paper will try to clarify what some of these goals are thought to be, and what they ought to be. It will specifically discuss two different approaches to health promotion, such as, behavior change and empowerment. The general aim of this paper is, thus, to compare the behavior-change approach and the empowerment approach, concerning their immediate (instrumental) goals or aims, and to morally evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these two goal models, in relation to the ultimate goal of health promotion. The investigation shows that the behavior-change approach has several moral problems. First of all, it is overly paternalistic and often disregards the individual’s or group’s own perception of what is important—something that also increases the risk of failed interventions. Furthermore, it risks leading to ‘victim blaming’ and stigmatization, and to increased inequalities in health, and it puts focus on the ‘wrong’ problems, i.e., behavior instead of the ‘causes of the causes’. It is thereafter shown that the empowerment approach does not have any of these problems. Finally, some specific problems for the empowerment approach are discussed and resolved, such as, the idea that empowering some groups might lead to power over others, the objection that the focus is not primarily on health (which it should be), and the fact that empowered people might choose to live lives that risk reducing their health. en_US
dc.format.extent 23
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Springer en_US
dc.subject Autonomy en_US
dc.subject Behavior change en_US
dc.subject Empowerment en_US
dc.subject Goals en_US
dc.subject Health promotion ethics en_US
dc.subject Public health ethics en_US
dc.subject Quality of life en_US
dc.subject.classification Humanities/Social Sciences en_US
dc.title Behavior Change Or Empowerment : On the Ethics of Health Promotion Goals en_US
dc.type Article, peer reviewed scientific en_US
dc.contributor.department Malmö University. Faculty of Health and Society en_US
dc.contributor.department Malmö University. Health and Welfare Studies (HV) en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s10728-013-0265-0 en_US
dc.subject.srsc Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS en_US
dc.relation.ispartofpublication Health Care Analysis;1
dc.relation.ispartofpublicationvolume 24
dc.description.embargo 2014-10-01
dc.format.ePage 46
dc.format.sPage 24
mahlocal.rights.oaType green
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