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Chapter 17 Sustainable Health Care and Emerging Ethical ResponsibilitiesThe declining conditions of the natural environment is beginning to affect the health of populations in many parts of the world In the long term human health requires a healthy global ecosystems Linking Health Care and the EnvironmentHealth care figures both as a solution to environmental decline and as a problem Environmental cost are most evident at the downstream end of health care the byproducts that leave the systems as waste The problems of medical waste particularly infectious materials and biohazardous agents Health care services rely on an enroumous array of natural resources including common and rare metals naturally occurring pharmaceutical porecursors rubber petroleum biomass and water The environmental costs of natural resource consumption in health care have not been carefully studied so the degree to which health care activities contribute to environmental deterioration is difficult to assessSustainable Health CareOne way to represent the scale of consumption is to use the econological footprint an estimate of the amount of space it takes to generate the energy food pasture consumer goods and so on that it takes to maintain each of us The ecological footprints of nations study calculates that humanity as a whole uses over one third more resources and econservices than what nature can regenerate The ethical arguments for cons
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