The “public good” can be defined as something that benefits everyone and can’t be withheld from anyone. Essentially, the public good is what is in the best interests of all humans collectively. Since we all inhabit the same planet and require the same resources, I think it’s fair to occasionally inconvenience our lives in order to make the world a better place for everyone else that lives here too.
Personally, I don’t see any problems with regulations that help everyone. I believe it’s important to follow the suggested guidance of the representatives and elected officials who come to these decisions. They reach their decisions after much deliberation about the pros and cons of the topic at hand, taking all factors into consideration. It seems as though problems arise due to the generalizations that must be made in order to determine what is best for such a large and diverse group of people. I think it would be worthwhile to better educate people about not only the public health decision that has been made, but also about the process of how they come to the decision they do.
The incident brought up in class, about the people who got their temperature taken at an airport with some sort of futuristic laser in the U.K., serves as a great example of efforts being made for the public good. Personally, I could care less if I randomly had my temperature taken without my knowledge. But, this does seem to upset quite a large number of people. I can’t really wrap my head around why that would be though, it is in the best interest of the public, and most certainly for our own individual health as well; I would definitely want to know if I was potentially infected with a disease. I just don’t really see any harm that can come from someone knowing our body temperature. I can think of a lot of things people wouldn’t want others to know about them, without their knowledge, but body temperature wouldn’t be at the top of my list, or even on my list at all.
Privacy is a tricky issue and a sore subject with many people, but as I alluded to earlier, I’m kind of all for giving up my privacy for the public good. All I would really like out of the exchange is the right to know what information is being collected. Being fully informed of the entire process would make me feel more comfortable with everything.
I also gained the impression that privacy is a detriment to society and many different professions progress. For instance, withholding information from your primary care physician, for any reason, almost indefinitely impacts their diagnosis and treatment of your symptoms. Although they aren’t always accurate representations, statistics can become even more skewed. Which, circling back around full circle, affects how the medical/scientific fields view reality.