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Confidential Information Essay

830 words - 4 pages

Everyday patients place their trust in the hands of their doctors. Maintaining confidentiality ensures quality care by showing that patients can rely on physicians to cherish the bond of trust between the patient and doctors, and maintain privacy. When breaching confidentiality, professionals will need to make judgments about the significance of the information to both patients. The right to Helen’s confidentiality should be protected because the potential harm caused by breeching her confidentiality outweighs the potential benefits of Penelope being informed.
Helen has a 4 year old son that has been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which is an x-recessive genetic condition ...view middle of the document...

Although Penelope’s respect for autonomy is at risk for being diminished, the clinicians and counselors must consider their obligation to keep Helen’s pertinent information guarded unless she gives disclosure.
When considering Penelope and her fetus’ well-being, I think it would be feasible for her to know about her carrier status to help promote their quality of life. However, it isn’t morally right to for physicians to disclose that information about her sister being that she is a third party and is in no serious harm. Furthermore, the clinicians would disagree with the idea of disclosing Helen’s confidentiality because there is a small amount of benefit to Penelope because the likelihood of her being a carrier is low, and the anxiety caused to Penelope is likely to outweigh the benefits of being told. Also, the likelihood of her fetus being diagnosed is unknown because she does not know the sex of the fetus; even if it were a boy, there is only a 25% chance that the fetus would be diagnosed with the genetic disorder.
When all the issues have been considered, a decision to breach Helen’s confidentiality might be agreed amongst a group of suitably qualified professionals when the knowledge is of significant potential benefit to Penelope. In a classic case file entitled, “Carlos R” Vaughn contends that physicians have a duty to warn if there is “an imminent threat of serious and irreversible harm, no other way to avert that threat except by breeching confidentiality, and...

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