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Closing Ventanas to open doors: an ethical approach to public health research in areas of high climate vulnerability

Macarena Martínez Órdenes ,
Macarena Martínez Órdenes

Departamento de Promoción de la Salud de la Mujer y el Recién Nacido, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile

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In the context of climate change, the complex relationship between humanity and nature is revealed. This context provides an excellent opportunity to understand the tensions, ethical, and philosophical aspects involved in health research in areas of high climatic vulnerability. To address this problem, the situation of the Concón, Quintero, and Puchuncaví area, one of the five environmental sacrifice zones established in Chile, is used as a case study. After years of studies on the harmful health effects of this industrial center and governmental inaction, the executive power decided to close the Codelco Ventanas Division Smelter. This closure allows us to reflect on the opportunities for developing ethical public health research in areas of high climate vulnerability, in addition to making clear the role of public health professionals under the principle of responsibility, using environmental, climate, and intergenerational justice.

How to Cite

Martínez Órdenes M. Closing Ventanas to open doors: an ethical approach to public health research in areas of high climate vulnerability. Salud, Ciencia y Tecnología [Internet]. 2023 Jul. 11 [cited 2024 May 28];3:417. Available from:

The article is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Unless otherwise stated, associated published material is distributed under the same licence.

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