Essay Applying Ethical Framework in Practice

1062 Words Apr 10th, 2011 5 Pages
Applying Ethical Framework in Practice
Adele Wolf, RN
Grand Canyon University
Ethical Decision Making in Health Care
NRS 437V
Charlene Cowley, MS, RN, CPNP
February 26, 2011

Applying Ethical Framework in Practice Confidentiality is the right of an individual patient to have personal, identifiable medical information kept private; such information should be available only to the physician of record and other health care and insurance personnel as necessary. The only time information should be disclosed is with informed consent, with concern for the safety of other specific persons, or in concern for public welfare (K. Edwards, 2008). This paper will discuss the choices made by one nurse who cared for teenage girls in an
…show more content…
In order for medicine to be practiced and therapy to be effective patients must be able to trust their health care provider. For example, a patient of Dr. Edgell was a prisoner in a secure hospital following conviction for killing five people and wounding several others. He made application to a mental health tribunal to be transferred to a less secure unit. Dr. Edgell was asked to provide a confidential expert opinion that they hoped would show that the patient was no longer a danger to the public. However Dr. Edgell was of the opinion that in fact this patient (W) was still very dangerous. W’s application was withdrawn. Dr. Edgell, knowing that his opinion would not be included in the patient’s notes, sent a copy to the medical director of the hospital and to the Home Office. The patient brought an action for breach of confidence. The court of Appeal held that the breach was justified in the public interest, on grounds of protection of the public from danger. The Court Judge said the risk must be ‘real, immediate and serious’ (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001). There are ethical and legal implications for a confidentiality breach. After reading this article it was evident that this nurse had choices when she decided what to say to these girls. To gain their confidence she should have told them that nothing done or said in the ER will go anywhere unless the results would cause considerable harm to someone else or endanger the life of an individual. The girls