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Sample Undergraduate Public Health Coursework

Published by at December 13th, 2022 , Revised On March 19, 2024

Ethical issue or topic in the spread of infectious disease

Should we use quarantine and isolation to prevent the spreading of infectious diseases?

Executive summary

Nowadays, a typical concern of people is about spreading infectious diseases that hamper life quality. The entire essay is based on the spreading of infectious disease and the process of addressing the issue. The critical questions that are attempted to answer in this essay are the effectiveness of quarantine or isolation in preventing the spread of infectious diseases worldwide.

In this regard, it is identified that communitarianism is crucial to anticipate the challenges of outbreaks of diseases. However, people should not utilize just a single aspect to restrict the epidemic. Alongside this, healthcare professionals of the world need to take several measures to support the people suffering from the disease and take necessary steps to prevent the outbreak of infections.


Infectious diseases are often contagious diseases. These infectious diseases spread like wildfire because they can easily be transferred from one person to another. In this regard, by discussing the essential quarantine factors, this essay highlights the need for quarantine to prevent widespread infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

It also assesses all possible quarantine aspects and its rules and regulations to explain the procedure concerning pandemic diseases such as COVID-19. The essay also focuses on those crucial areas in which it is possible to manage an infectious disease and save humans’ lives.

The pandemic crisis faced by the world and its inhabitants have altered communicable diseases’ views and attitudes (Durrheim and Baker, 2020). The planet has become very conscious of the avoidance of such circumstances. The thesis argues that quarantine or isolation will limit the spread of infectious diseases as it creates a barrier among the people affected.


Literature review on aspects of public health

After the outbreak of Covid-19, the entire world has been going through the most challenging situation. The recession has altered people’s mindset, and way of living as many lost their beloved ones’ lives. This pandemic has also posed a significant challenge to the medical profession.

Physicians and medical staff face the most stressful times in managing the case and often struggle to do so. The case has also led the medical profession to adjust its infrastructure and treatment processes. The concepts of communitarianism have been useful for solving critical medical cases in this context.

In modern situations, fictional partnerships (Cheyette, 2011). The pandemic crisis that the entire globe is going through due to the outbreak of Covid-19 has changed everything. The time of recession has altered people’s mindset and way of living. The time saw the loss of lives and posed a significant challenge to the medical profession.

Physicians and medical staff face the most stressful times in managing the case and often struggle to do so. The case has also led the medical profession to adjust its infrastructure and treatment processes. The concepts of communitarianism have been useful for solving critical medical cases in this context.

In such situations, communitarianism has been extended since it discusses the relationship between patients and doctors, which has become critical (Cheyette, 2011). During the pandemic, the concept of infectious diseases, their origin, and their treatment changed dramatically. The public health element in this time of crisis has become significant.

Public well-being means individualistic health concerns and counseling (Dawson, 2011). It is called the well-being of the population or a large number of individuals. Contagious or infectious diseases spread, causing many individuals to worry about the health structure.

Public health ethics are not traditional, but they shift according to nature and challenges from time to time. However, in such a pandemic situation, the changing situation often causes medical practitioners to think beyond theoretical expertise. Under such situations, public health maintenance becomes a priority for physicians and medical staff to make every possible effort.

The conventional public health approach is limited and concentrated within the country’s geographical boundaries. Smallpox confined the spread of the disease to particular geographical boundaries before the arrival of COVID-19. So, there are drawbacks to the conception of public health in the ancient system.

The current scenario and experiences have transformed this view since the spread of the Covid 19 case. Today, the public health element means global health, which has led the medical industry to reconsider the various ideas, values, and methods of addressing certain circumstances (Petrinia and Gainottib, 2008).

Another critical element of public health in disease or pandemic conditions is the average citizens’ willingness to not listen to physicians’ recommendations in medication or healthcare (Kretchy, Asiedu-Danso, and Kretchy, 2020). The non-adherence factor has a constructive viewpoint from doctors who prescribe basic rules for patients, such as medication consumption and proper food intake from a reasonable perspective.

From the patients’ point of view, however, the recommendation tends to have a negative outlook, leading to non-adherence. It may be why certain unregulated conditions, such as the pandemic, are (Gold and Lichtenberg, 2012). On the other hand, it can be argued that non-adherence is not necessarily deliberate as the lifestyle, surrounding aspects, and works of individuals influence them to stay non-adherence often.

Public health is also actively influenced by the various values which exist in the sense of ethics. Principles such as utilitarianism and virtual philosophy include, in different senses, elements of ethics. Utilitarianism is one of the most important philosophies that complies with public health problems offered by the pandemic (Townsend, Willis, and Mehmet, 2019).

These concepts’ key objective is to achieve the best possible result from which the ethics or the moral dimensions are decided. In conjunction with the implications that suit the scenario that a pandemic situation has recently offered, this theory speaks of being versatile. The consequence or the operation.

However, it may be argued that the theory does not explicitly address the concept of certainty concerning the intended outcome or the action. In light of its relationship to public health, the issues of ‘confidentiality’ and ‘consent’ are quite important. These two elements are included and signified by the code of ethics in every health sector worldwide.

Confidentiality involves protecting the data of a patient and keeping all elements confidential unless permitted by the patient. This permission is known as consent. All these factors have a more significant effect on public health. Confidentiality and consent will not always be practiced in pandemic circumstances since people’s lives are involved in many cases. Also, in such circumstances, which seek to spread knowledge of all the well-being, the media’s position has become essential.

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Concept of Isolation or quarantine in preventing infectious disease

The pandemic situation has made the quarantine or self-isolation part very necessary. Quarantine means separation from others by staying at home and avoiding meetings for a significant period (Chatterjee and Chauhan, 2020). The current scenario has proven that quarantine successfully mitigates the mass spread of infectious diseases in pandemic situations. Besides, isolation or quarantine has proven helpful in terms of public health problems and ethics. The situation also focuses on the influence of nudging in some situations on public health awareness policies.

Nudging refers to a deliberate shift in people’s environmental choices and helps them lead healthy lives by inspiring them and leading them in the right direction (Behavioralpolicy. 2016). In developed countries such as the UK, the feature has grown dramatically as it is one of the most cost-effective policies that get productive results.

Also, the element encourages freedom of choice, so individuals are required to obey specific policies. Finally, this factor is quite fruitful in circumstances where public health influences society’s socio-economic characteristics (Schmidt and Engelen, 2020).

On the contrary, the element is to restrict individual choices, freedoms, and desires under some restrictions. Nudging can also be an efficient way of implementing policies beneficial in disease or pandemic circumstances.

Some components, such as upholding the virtue of good health, include self-isolation or quarantine. Like bravery, integrity, and justice, three forms of virtue are essential in public health practice (Rogers, 2004). Public health has involved some dynamic facets in recent times that various practitioners deal with, and the range of dealings ranges from harmless to invasive.

Virtue-related ideas incorporate spiritual aspects in public health and encourage the propagation of knowledge about preserving ethics in public health issues. However, with time and circumstances, facets of virtue have many changes, which are mostly inevitable and required for the patients’ well-being.

The consent element, linked to quarantine or isolation, is quite essential. Quarantine is determined and enforced by the authority during any infectious disease outbreak, such as Covid 19, which has affected the world’s central part. In this sense, the element of consent appears.

Various ways of consent exist (Husein et al., 2020). Informed consent requires data relating to the acts taken to persuade people. In this case, informed consent seems to be partly useful in pandemic cases because it is essential to communicate the quarantine policies’ compliance.

It will assist the government body in gaining citizens’ confidence in the policy. It will help people for a considerable time to understand the severity of the situation and the importance of isolation or quarantine. Informed consent is also beneficial because it supports the health of the patient. In some cases, such as organ donation services and others, the informed consent process is essential in the health sector (Hernandez et al., 2018).

Quarantine and isolation help reduce the spread of infectious diseases and encourage public health’s welfare by keeping it healthy and reducing harm to society. It must be noted that public health facets must be addressed to turn the strategy and initiative into a two-way mechanism by framing rules and quarantine regulations.

As the quarantine or self-isolation keeps the infected individuals separated from others, the thesis statement is effective from now on. The chances of touch spreading are minimized with the aid of this. Using quarantine and awakening health consciousness, contagious diseases such as COVID-19 be prevented in the early phases. If it is possible to avoid this form of infectious disease early, it will not become an outbreak as the spread can be stopped. Nevertheless, a health-conscious society should be created, and proper awareness of the processes and their effects need to be developed.


Recent times have seen the spread of infectious disease, impacting public health internationally. It has altered people’s lives and the socio-economic system associated with them. The essay covers various public health aspects, such as agreement, confidentiality, nudging, values, doctrines, etc.

As a comparative analysis, every factor is presented. The second part of the debate focuses on the role and effectiveness of isolation and quarantine in avoiding infectious disease effects. Nudging policies are clarified in this regard. The notion of virtue relevant to public health is also explored in this sense.

Finally, the role and effect of consent and its importance in implementing quarantine-related policies are essential. It is also clear that pandemic diseases such as COVID-19 can be prevented from becoming a pandemic by maintaining adequate quarantine and isolation. Henceforth, all the laws and regulations of self-isolation and quarantine must be followed correctly to extract the full result.


Behavioralpolicy. 2016. What Is Nudging? | Behavioral Science & Policy Association. [online] Available at: <https://behavioralpolicy.org/what-is-nudging/> [Accessed 13 January 2021].

Chatterjee, K. and Chauhan, V.S., 2020. Epidemics, quarantine and mental health. Medical Journal, Armed Forces India, 76(2), p.125.

Cheyette, C.M., 2011. Communitarianism and the ethics of infectious disease: Some preliminary thoughts. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 39(4), pp.678-689.

Dawson, 2011. Public health ethics: key concepts and issues in policy and practice. Cambridge University Press.

Durrheim, D.N. and Baker, MG, 2020. COVID-19—a very visible pandemic. The Lancet, 396(10248), p.e17.

Gold, A. and Lichtenberg, P., 2012. Don’t call me “nudge”: The ethical obligation to use effective interventions to promote public health. The American Journal of Bioethics, 12(2), pp.18-20.

Hernandez, J., Hassan, N., Moalin, U. and Tidwell, C., 2018. Understanding Female genital mutilation experiences to inform future health practices.

Husein, I., Noerjoedianto, D., Sakti, M. and Jabbar, A.H., 2020. Modeling of Epidemic Transmission and Predicting the Spread of Infectious Disease. Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy, 11(6).

Kretchy, I.A., Asiedu-Danso, M. and Kretchy, J.P., 2020. Medication management and adherence during the COVID-19 pandemic: Perspectives and experiences from LMICs. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy.

Petrina, C. and Gainottib, S., 2008. A personalist approach to public-health ethics. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 86(8), pp.624-629.

Rogers, W.A., 2004. Virtue ethics and public health: a practice-based analysis. Monash bioethics review, 23(1), pp.10-21.

Schmidt, A.T. and Engelen, B., 2020. The ethics of nudging: An overview. Philosophy Compass, 15(4), p.e12658.

Townsend, R., Willis, S. and Mehmet, N., 2019. Legal and ethical aspects of paramedic practice. Fundamentals of Paramedic Practice: A Systems Approach

The major cause of infection spread can vary depending on the specific infection, but in general, the most common modes of transmission include, Direct contact, Indirect contact and Droplet transmission.


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