There is increasingly widespread acceptance that alcohol taken in moderation by the population aged 35 years or older reduces the risks of ischaemic heart disease and all-cause mortality. Ten causal criteria are used to evaluate the scientific evidence for a protective effect of low alcohol intake on ischaemic heart disease. Inferences for public policy are then assessed using the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, justice and autonomy to support a framework of nine ethical considerations: intervention versus causation; effect modification by gender, smoking, biogenetic and other factors; inappropriate adoption of recommendations; competing hazards between atherosclerotic disease and cancer; opportunity cost; equity of access; the value system used to judge outcomes; the adequate scientific knowledge and informed community debate it is unethical to promote low alcohol intake as a degree of social influence warranted; and consent and responsibility. We conclude that in the absence of more preventive health measure.
|Journal||Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|