Screening is the presumptive identification of an unrecognized disease or condition by the use of tests, examinations, or other procedures that can help apparently well individuals who have a disease or disease precursor. Several frameworks for analyzing and addressing ethical and policy issues in public health screening programs have been proposed. Screening raises a number of important ethical issues, including provisions for obtaining informed consent, protecting privacy and confidentiality, and balancing risks and potential benefits, and issues pertaining to targeted screening of higher-risk persons. Other ethical considerations relate to costs and how best to allocate finite public resources for screening.
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