What Is the Morality Behind Patient Confidentiality?

1530 WordsDec 13, 20127 Pages
What is The Morality behind Patient Confidentiality? Name: Course: Tutor: Date: What is The Morality behind Patient Confidentiality? Introduction Patient confidentiality is one of the pillars of modern medical profession. It implies that the medical practitioner is under the obligation to keep his patient’s medical profile confidential. The main reason is to help the patient maintain his privacy. However, there have been numerous cases of breach of such confidentiality, which has raised varying ethical implications. Further, there have been instances where the medical practitioner has felt that he needs to divulge such private information to a 3rd party. Often, this results in…show more content…
Often, these are circumstances that perpetuate the public good. This puts the medical practitioner in a dilemma as he has to evaluate the circumstance to determine whether it warrants the breach of patient confidentiality. Indeed, such a breach involves the evaluation of the moral obligations the doctor has both towards his patient and society. Where the latter carries more weight than the former, the medical professional may breach the patient confidentiality. One instance where such breach is allowable is where the maintaining patient confidentiality can harm others (Banatar, 2003). The In this regard, the values defining patient confidentiality lose weight and their relevance diminishes. This is because of the principle that the enjoyment of privileges by one person must not curtail the enjoyment of the privileges by another. An excellent example is where a husband is suffering from HIV/AIDs and is keeping his status from his wife. This puts his wife at risk of contracting the ailment unless the doctor informs her so that she can protect herself. In such a scenario, the patient loses his privileges while those of the wife are upheld. However, this is not always straightforward, and medical practitioners may find themselves in complex moral dilemmas pitting the public good against individual privileges. Another instance that may call for breach of patient confidentiality is where the patient is at harm
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