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Ethical Frameworks Essay

1072 words - 5 pages

Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice
Richard Doria
Grand Canyon University
NRS -437 V
Nov 16, 2014

Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice
Patient confidentiality can be often breached without the intention of doing it. This happens when staff discusses patient information in crowds or small groups, patient notes on the computer being left open and unattended, and documents that are not being filed properly and stay visible to the next patient. Confidentiality is not necessarily absolute even though it is a patient’s right. Certain situations exist where medical staff is obligated to breach confidentiality, especially when they feel that it is in the patient’s interest to do so. ...view middle of the document...

Nurses must be advocates for their patients which necessitates providing respect, honesty, loyalty, acting in the patient’s best interest and preventing undue harm. When one has self-awareness of their own values, it helps to appreciate the values of another, therefore providing ultimate standard of care" (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2008). Another ethical principle is non-maleficence, which prevents the medical staff from doing anything that can be harmful to the patient. So, if breaching confidentiality supports this principle, then the nurse is put in a very tough situation. If he/she chooses to breach confidentiality, then the nurse is upholding non maleficence. The next principle that affects confidentiality policies in healthcare is beneficence. An ethical issue that is closely related to this is the reporting of sexually transmitted disease, as described in the Bioethics on NBC’s ER article. "There already exists a hesitancy for patients to share information with health care providers. Too many reported breaches of confidentiality have appeared in the media. "High risk" patients with HIV or AIDS, genetic diseases, or mental illness may feel particularly vulnerable. As a result, patients are limiting information shared with health care providers, thus protecting privacy at the cost of impairing their health. We must avert any grass roots efforts, within or among states, in which patients embrace a "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy about their health" (Silva & Ludwick, 1999).
Using an ethical framework of decision making is an effective way to come up with a reasonable alternative in addressing the dilemma in the said article. The case method approach would be appropriate and is initiated by soliciting various ideas and viewpoints and gathering as much necessary information as possible. “Members engage in analogical reasoning, comparing the specifics of a particular case, her illness, and relationships with her family. Instead of focusing on how universal principles and standards can be applied in this situation, hospital personnel are more concerned with the details of the case itself. Participants balance competing perspectives and values, reach tentative conclusions, and look for similarities between the current case and earlier ones” (, 2005). Nurse Hathaway must foster storytelling and should have alerted Andrea that she will be sharing her story about the problem. Next, she must have encouraged the...

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