Bikes, helmets, and public health: decision-making when goods collide

This article focuses on challenges to developing public policy in the context of competing public health goods. The author reports on findings that helmets reduce the risk of head or brain injury but also describes the arguments used by to those who oppose mandatory helmet use laws, which include issues related to individual freedom. A case study highlights New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s opposition to a bicycle helmet mandate because of its potential to discourage bicycling, and also discussed is the likelihood of bike-sharing participants to wear helmets. The article suggests that imposing a helmet mandate is a question of public health ethics, concerned with whether a compulsory policy should be imposed on individuals for the purpose of an aggregate benefit.

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  • Accession Number: 01532606
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2014 1:28PM