In health care, the practice of patient confidentiality is very important for all practitioners involved because patients depend on their physicians and care givers to keep any identifiable information contained in their medical records private. This confidentiality encourages…
However, medical practitioners can be faced with a dilemma that forces them to make a compromise between maintaining patient confidentiality and releasing such information in some circumstances. This could also be necessitated by various logical and justifiable situations that are supported by ethical principles. My position regarding patient confidentiality is that there are times in which the physician is logically justified to go against the implied promise of confidentiality and disclose the patient information.
The first is the principle of beneficence where the decision made provides and balances benefits against harm and risks. For example where patient bills are paid by a health insurance company, such records have to be viewed by employees of the insurance company. If this is denied, the insurance company will not pay the bills. According to Veatch (1988), a breach of confidentiality could also be done in compliance with rules governing transmittable diseases that are a threat to the public. This means officials from the health department have the right to access such patient information.
Most importantly, the breach of patient confidentiality is justifiable in cases where the patient is a minor. According to Nathanson (2000), young patients are allowed to test for certain diseases like STDs without the consent of their parents. However, when tested positive for serious conditions, a disclosure of this information to the parents or guardians is very critical. This is because it will ensure that the young patient gets proper medical attention and all round support.
Hanks (2008) states that it may never be possible for a young patient to get any proper medical treatment if their medical information is kept away from their parents or guardians. This is because the minors might not be in a position to stand in for their medical bills. According to Silen et al (2008), there are situations in ...
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