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Ethical Decisions And Confidentiality Essay

999 words - 4 pages


Ethical Decisions for Confidentiality

Ethical Decisions for Confidentiality
Describing ethical dilemmas are often confused with the concept of right and wrong. Many people think that an immoral decision contradicts the understanding of ethics. Ethical dilemmas do not involve right or wrong, but they test the perception of acceptability based on morals and values. Ethics do not rely upon religion, law, and/or science as a means of understanding and defining ethical standards. Beliefs and perception defines ethics and overall morality. For example, in Africa, female genital mutilation is an accepted practice among tribesman. However, in ...view middle of the document...

Without confidentiality full treatment may not be realized and medical professional efforts will be hampered due to the reclusive nature of patients providing private medical information. Without the proper information, how can a medical team provide adequate care?
The writer does not agree with the doctor’s decision to communicate with the school about the young woman’s illness and subsequent recipients of the illness. When confidentiality is broken, trust is also broken. Trusting a person is a long and strenuous process. People trust medical professionals while bypassing this process due to the assumed confidentiality policy. However, when there is no policy, trust is not easily gained. Therefore, when breaking confidentiality, the character and relationship between both parties is dissolved. More importantly reputation is damaged and it is not easily repairable. There are two principles that assert the writer’s stance on the ER doctor.
The Rights theory dictates that ethical decisions must be made in support of rights laid out by society. It is ethically responsible to protect an individual’s right to privacy due to how consistent the majority of the people agree and respect the right. For example, United States citizens take the right to privacy very seriously. This is evident due to its documentation in the Bill of Rights. The privacy right is granted by the government and accepted by the majority of United States citizens. It would be unethical to deprive a person their right to privacy. In the medical case, the ER doctor has violated the patient’s right to privacy due to the doctor breaking confidentiality.
The Deontological approach states that when deciding a decision to an ethical dilemma, the duties of the individual should be given top priority. We can adapt this approach to our medical example. The ER doctor is bound by the Hippocratic oath to act for the patient’s benefit. This is one of many duties the doctor has to the patient. If confidentiality is broken, then the oath is disregarded, thus making an unethical decision.
The solution that should be entertained is educating the patient...

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