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Community Water Fluoridation: Caveats to Implement Justice in Public Oral Health

Authors
 Youngha Song  ;  Junhewk Kim 
Citation
 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, Vol.18(5) : 2372, 2021-03 
Journal Title
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH
ISSN
 1661-7827 
Issue Date
2021-03
MeSH
Dental Caries* / epidemiology ; Dental Caries* / prevention & control ; Fluoridation* ; Humans ; Oral Health ; Public Health ; Social Justice
Keywords
community water fluoridation ; oral prevention ; procedural justice ; public dentistry ; public health ethics
Abstract
Community water fluoridation (CWF), a long-established public health intervention, has been studied for scientific evidence from both of yea and nay standpoints. To justify CWF with scientific evidence inevitably leads to ethical justification, which raises the question of whether oral health is of individual concern or social responsibility. As dental caries is a public health problem, public health ethics should be applied to the topic instead of generic clinical ethics. From both pro- and anti-fluoridationists' perspectives, CWF is a public health policy requiring a significant level of intervention. Thus, there needs to take further considerations for justifying CWF beyond the simple aspect of utility. For further ethical considerations on CWF, three caveats were suggested: procedural justice, social contexts, and maintenance of trust. The process to justify CWF should also be justified, not simply by majority rule but participatory decision-making with transparency and pluralistic democracy. Social contexts are to be part of the process of resolving conflicting values in public health interventions. Public trust in the dental profession and the oral healthcare system should be maintained over the considerations. This article suggests accountability for reasonableness as a framework to consider infringement by CWF for public justification of its implementation.
Files in This Item:
T202100881.pdf Download
DOI
10.3390/ijerph18052372
Appears in Collections:
2. College of Dentistry (치과대학) > Others (기타) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Junhewk(김준혁)
URI
https://ir.ymlib.yonsei.ac.kr/handle/22282913/190365
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