It may also lead them avoid seeking care for fear of being exposed against their will. This could lead to serious consequences, for instance further injury or even death in certain instances. Secondly, breach of confidentiality could make a patient feel disrespected by the physicians or healthcare providers. The provisions of confidentiality provide for a means for the preservation of the patient’s privacy and autonomy rights. Therefore, breaching of confidentiality is similar to breaching the privacy and autonomy rights of an individual, which is unethical in healthcare. Thirdly, when healthcare providers or physicians enter into a relationship with patients, there must be fidelity that calls for respect for confidentiality that is developed implicitly and as required by the code of ethics that guides medical and healthcare practice for all health care professionals. This means that the healthcare professional has the obligation to keep the patient’s confidentiality to earn his or her trust and be able to provide the needed care for the patient. When healthcare professionals breach confidentiality, they break the trust and fidelity put upon them by the patients and act irresponsibly. This will therefore be unethical.
Several ethical principles emphasize on the importance of confidentiality in healthcare provision. These principles include beneficence, Non-malfeasance, autonomy, justice and truthfulness. The principle of beneficence entails the compassion that health professionals should show towards patients. This means that health professionals must desire to do good and an aspect of this is to keep the patient confidentiality, as it is an important factor in patient advocacy. Non-malfeasance is also an important principle in the sense that it stipulates that health professionals should ensure the avoidance of harm as a core of medical oath and nursing ethics. Breaching patient confidentiality equals to malfeasance. The ...
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