If you want to be healthier; you cannot avoid other people -like it or not; the human body is built to be part of a society; and putting time and effort into positively interacting with others, will inevitably bring you many health benefits, if nothing else.
The goal of health policy is to protect and promote the health of individuals and the community. Government officials can accomplish this objective in ways that respect human rights, including the right to self determination, privacy, and nondiscrimination.
Numerous papers have addressed the question, What is sound health policy? Which bodies are best equipped to solve which health policy problems and why? What data do policymaking bodies need? How can that data best be made available to decision makers?
The United States is a highly diverse and complicated society. Many groups "weigh in" on significant health policy issues. America's expansive range of policymaking bodies and groups seeking to influence policy render it impossible to offer a systematic and comprehensive analysis of health policy formulation.
To make an examination of policy development manageable, I will work from the following assumption, which is partly, but not wholly, valid.
I will assume that formal development of health policy is the primary preserve of the three branches of government-the executive, legislature, and judiciary-at the state and federal levels.
In practice, many other bodies make policy such as professional associations or ethics groups through guidelines. It evaluates the relative strengths and weaknesses of each branch of government with respect to health policy formulation.
Social and Ethical Decision Making in Biomedicine. The National Academies Press. These include presidential and congressional commissions, task forces and advisory bodies, professional and trade associations, and public interest, consumer, and community-based groups.
Although I argue below that health policy is best formulated through rigorous and objective assessment of data, I do not support any restriction on the right of interest groups to publish their views and to appropriately lobby policy makers.
A robust constitutional society that values freedom of expression and unrestricted participation in the political process should support a role for interest groups in health policy formulation. It should not censor or fetter the views of those who seek to participate in the process.
Yet, the various branches of government should be able to rely on full, objective information and advice based upon sound scientific evidence.
This essay will explore some mechanisms for achieving these aims. Health policy encompasses a vast range of issues in health care, public health, and biotechnology. This essay selects illustrations from several areas that, over a period of time, have generated a great deal of policy formulated by each branch of government.
These include reproductive rights, the right to die, and mental health. I will also use examples in the fields of health care reform, AIDS, and civil rights of persons with disabilities.
The policies themselves are rarely subjected to scientific scrutiny. Whether society seeks to reform the health care system, to restrict or to expand women's choices to receive an abortion, or to authorize or to criminalize physician-assisted dying, it has no precise means by which to test for the "correct" approach.
Health policy decisions often reflect choices between competing values, as well as assessments of available data. Interest groups, including organizations representing various health care professionals, select their values and evaluate data through their own lenses.
Clearly, groups comprised of highly expert and well-intentioned professionals often make markedly different decisions about health policy. Axelrod 3 exemplifies the difficulty of deciding on one "correct" policy solution to complex health problems. The highest state court considered whether the state health commissioner had correctly categorized HIV infection as a communicable disease.
This policy, on its face, appears noncontroversial and subject to neutral assessment. Yet, health professionals strongly split on this issue. Many public health organizations e. However, many medical and surgical organizations e. This would authorize greater use of compulsory testing, reporting, and contact tracing.Health behaviour theorists have long attested to the importance of social influences in health decision making.
For example, the prominent Social Cognitive Theory builds in a construct of outcome expectancies, of which social outcome expectancies, or the value of the anticipated reaction of those in one’s environment, play a role.
Factors that Influence Decision Making. There are several important factors that influence decision making. Significant factors include past experiences, a variety of cognitive biases, an escalation of commitment and sunk outcomes, individual differences, including age and socioeconomic status, and a belief in personal relevance.
The community researchers then reviewed a prepared list of many potential factors, grouped into domains (social, behavioral, family/community, physical/mental, demographic, health care, genetic, environmental, and attitudes/beliefs), and were given the opportunity to expand or change their initial list of factors, as well as to eliminate any.
Some topics that might have an affect include the lifelong importance of health determinants in early childhood, and the effects of poverty, drugs, working conditions, unemployment, social support, good food and transport policy.
Shared decision-making on the other hand is an interactive collaborative process that occurs between the nurse and the service user that is used to make health care decisions. Adolescent Decision Making and Risk Behavior: A Neurobiological Approach Individual and Social Influences on Adolescent Decision Making and Risk Behavior27 make decisions to engage in risk behavior and to determine some factors that affect the decision making process.