Should Medical Advisement Be Legal?

Decent Essays
Doctors are placed in a compromising situation where they must balance maintaining an honest and open relationship with their patient and their moral duty to society. The patient is expected to be honest about their ailments and in return, expects the doctor to keep their information confidential. This process is reliant on patients being honest and trusting and doctors being honest and private. While doctors may be privy to knowledge that could benefit a third-party, I believe that physicians should be required to keep patient information confidential in all cases because people in need of medical advisement will be less likely to seek care if they know that their information can be disclosed. In Walter Glannon’s book, Biomedical Ethics, he covers both the positive and negative aspects concerning doctors keeping confidentiality. He states that from the positive consequentialist aspect, it is more valuable for doctors to uphold their patient’s confidentiality even in extreme instances because it encourages patients to continue to keep seeking medical treatment and thus helps better society in many instances (Glannon, 2005). He also proposes a counterpoint for negative consequentialism. He elaborates that if the threat to society outweighs the patient’s relationship then the doctor should be morally obligated to divulge their patient’s information (Glannon, 2005). Justice Tobriner utilizes a specific court case, Tarasoff versus the Reagents of the University of California, to
Get Access